Talk:Affirmative action/Archive 2

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Removed editor's response to Sanders' view in Controversy section

The Controversy section contains a criticism of affirmative action by Professor Sanders. There was a paragraph-long response essentially saying "this criticism makes no sense if you understand affirmative action". That paragraph was based completely on original research and, moreover, it was also unresponsive to Sanders' criticism. Therefore, I have removed the offending paragraph to comply with WP:V and WP:NPOV. 17:36, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't know what was originally written in Sander's section, but I do think that there should be mention of the fact that Sander's claims about the effects of ending Affirmative Action have been directly disputed by others: It should at least be mentioned that others have rebutted his claims and argued that there would be far fewer black lawyers without Affirmative Action. Klpstyles 19:19, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Centrist View

Should definitely be removed. For one, it's full of weasel words. For another, the 'facts' included are not given citations, and this is certainly not a case where the view of the author is generally accepted (minorities remain disproportionately underrepresented in the middle and upper classes, and blacks from every income level have a tougher time getting access to higher education than whites from the same income level - check the Dept of Ed's NCES datasets if you want to confirm any of that).

This should NOT be removed. Reverse Discrimination is bigger than ever. Minorities, especially blacks, are constantly throwing out the "race card" to obtain entrance to Universities that they are not qualified to attend. Additionally, They also obtain jobs in the work force that they are not qualified for-only to later be fired at a large cost to the employer-who wrongfully"gave them a chance".

Although I agree with you, it's a little hard to take some seriously if they use "blacks"; especially when singling them out from other minorities.-- (talk) 19:38, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Reverse Discrimination is HUGE! People will jump up a tree at you any time you say "Merry Christmas", but "Happy Hanukkah" is just fine. Being white is a major disadvantage when trying to get into schools, and the "Affirmative Action will right past wrongs"... are we saying that two wrongs make a right? That we should discriminate against them because they disicriminated against us?

All the evidence contradicts both of these claims. Anecdotes are not evidence. Affirmative action hasn't given people who are unqualified jobs on a massive scale. The very minimum aspect is that a person still must be qualified and the evidence fits it. Being white isn't a major disadvantage of anything anywhere where whites are a majority and there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that it is. Further, studies have shown that those who have benefited the most, by far, from affirmative action measures are white women. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hawk405359 (talkcontribs) 17:36, 1 May 2007 (UTC).

Deleted Flawed Reasoning

The article is biased. Whoever wrote it should be more objective. I have however made some changes and plan to return.

I deleted the Flawed Reasoning section. Let me explain why. It said the following: "Proponents of affirmative action often contend that racial diversity is intrinsically in the interest of an academic environment and as such a university is justified in taking means to ensure a racially diverse campus. This notion is mere assertion. Japan is perhaps the most racially homogenous nation on the planet and yet manages to have the highest per capita GDP. Relatively homogenous nations such as Germany, Korea and China (This parenthetical remark was made anonymously and long after the fact: China is far from being a homogenous country. There are over 20 recognized minorities or nacionalities by the central chinese government) are also uninhibited by their lack of diversity. The notion that racial diversity is necessary to enhance the quality of a campus atmosphere can not be substantiated by quantitative evidence. It's probably a nice idea, but it has no real basis and is surely poor justification to discriminate against qualified applicants on the basis of their race."

There are many errors here because Japan does not have the highest per capita GDP in the world (Luxembourg does). In fact, Japan’s GDP per capita ($29,400) is lower than that of the US ($40,100). Evidence is at the CIA World Fact Book entry for GDP per capita. Recently, the US economy has been very dynamic compared to the sluggish economies of Japan and Europe. Germany’s unemployment is around 10 percent while the U.S.’s is at 5 percent. U.S. GDP growth rate is about 4 to 5 percent per annum while European growth rates are usually 1 or 2 percent. Furthermore, correlation does not imply causation and living standards have little to do with university selection. This is irrelevant evidence (and flawed reasoning itself, one might argue). Also, China is not homogenous. There are many ethnic groups in China, for example the issue of the dominance of Han Chinese.

reply: Though I agree that the article should have been deleted, I disagree with your reasons. While Japan does not have the highest GDP or GDP/capita(or PPP), it does have ONE OF THE highest (all of those within top 5 I believe). Also while Japan's economy is in a recession, it is still one of the best in the world, only to be outdone by a few (like the U.S.), and growth does still exist. It is by no means a "bad" economy, which seems to be the basis of your argument. It is in fact on of the best. But I would agree in deleting it because it is not informative but rather opinionated. IE it is there not to inform about AA, but only to discredit it. Wikipedia entries ought not to be argumentative, ever. This is an encyclopedia after all, not a debate (well the discussion section is but... you know what i mean :P ).

Why Europe is even more Sluggish than the US (BusinessWeek)

comment: Yes, invoking racial homogeneity in other countries makes absolutely no sense, and of course the reasoning is flawed. It's not even an argument. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12 November 2006.

comment: the first sentence 'the article is biased', is a wholly unstubstantiated conclusion inappropriately prefixing your assertions. i see no factual list of proven biased statements culled from the article. your statement is mere opinion, and in my opinion, uninformed. note how i referred to my remark as opinion because i have no factual knowledge to back it up.

as to 'flawed reasoning'. i see no mention in the article of a connection between gdp and academic racial diversity. thus, it is your reasoning which is painfully flawed to the point of grinning irony.

AA is a Governmental Activity

I think there can be no doubt that Affirmative Action is a governmental policy. Am I right? And, if it is, it must have a purpose. That purpose could be retribution against particular racial and ethnic groups the government does not like or approve of. A different purpose would be to change the makeup of the society or societies it controls to a more "desirable" state. This last purpose requires some sort of measure to judge outcomes by, and those measurements are laid out. In other words, Affirmative Action is simply another form of social engineering intended to improve society. Distinguishing between this program and ones termed "Ethnic Cleansing" is not easy or simple. Both have a number of characteristics in common.

  1. Both are government programs.
  2. Both are attempts to change society to a more approved form (from the government's POV).
  3. Both identify desirable and undesirable groups by race and/or ethnicity.
  4. Both use government force to decrease the number of undesirable groups in desired positions.
  5. Both use government force to increase the number of desirable groups in desired positions.
  6. Both claim "High Moral Ground" in operating their programs.
  7. Neither is much interested in the opinions of lower SES people involved.

It is clear that people who like Affirmative Action dislike Ethnic Cleansing, but the reverse is probably not so. Part of the question at hand is what the basis for the difference of opinion is. Some would say race plays a very large role in these opinions. Others seem to claim that somehow giving a limited resource to a desirable group does not negatively effect those who are not wanted. This is perhaps the least defensible point about these arguments, and calls for a careful systematic evaluation of how that could possibly be true. A clear, precise explanation of how things such as jobs or positions in Universities or positions in government are *NOT* limited resources would seem to be in order here.

I think this is the sort of reasoning that should be presented in a fair "Criticisms" section. I personally find this line of reasoning to be far stronger than pointing out that getting preferences brings relative competency into question for beneficiaries. milesgl 21:27, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

We agree. State sponsored racism is... state sponsored racism, no matter how pretty a name you give it, or how much propaganda you shovel on top of it. Sam_Spade (talk · contribs) 23:12, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
no, youre not right. affirmative action is not always a state program.
Affirmative action was originally instituted as a FEDERAL program by Pres. Lyndon Johnson (as a non-discrimination measure), with no quotas or different requirements for those who were of a minority. It would be modified by states later, but it WAS originally a federal mandate. It wasn't until later that his policies would be amended to include quotas, etc. because some factions of the government felt that even though the policy vied for equal opportunity, it did not promote "affirmative action" on the part of those who would be employing/accepting the minority groups. This is why the quotas and requirements were altered or instituted for minorities, as guidelines for that "affirmative action" that was supposed to be enacted by employers, colleges and universities, and government agencies. To reiterate, The original version of "affirmative action" was not to give minorities an advantage, but to take away their disadvantage. Some statistics, such as UC-Berkley application/admission statistics from '94-'01, could be interpreted to show that affirmative action had actually caused a steady DECREASE in minority application and admission averages. I am not an expert in statistical analysis, however, and will leave the official interpretation to those more qualified than myself. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 25 November 2006.


I made a great many edits to the article. Unless someone objects, i will be removing the dispute headers. Cheers, Sam Spade (talk · contribs) 17:01, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • I object!Rbaish 17:15, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
    • Um. It's a little late to object to the fact that a dispute header was removed 23 months ago. - Jmabel | Talk 07:54, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Woefully incomplete

Having looked at Title VII and heard from numerous sources that private employers of less than 15 employees can engage in freedom of association, I have more recently heard informally from an attorney that it simply is not the case that anyone can realistically engage in freedom of association anymore. This is due to something called "section 1981" which prohibits discrimination in private contracts, as well as State laws that effectively remove the 15 employee floor from affirmative action powers at the State level.

This is crucial.

If there really is _no_ condition in which one is free to associate with those one chooses, except for those who happen to agree with the government's judgments about those with whom they should associate, then there are few issues of greater importance to the real rights of humans, and this should be spelled out accurately and adequately. User:Jabowery (sig added by Sam_Spade (talk · contribs) 11:41, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC))

Please find some references for this stuff, and add cited info to the article. Cheers, Sam_Spade (talk · contribs) 11:41, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Just looked this up (on LexisNexis). Jabowery is referring to Section 1981 of Title 42 of the United States Code, which provides for "equal rights under the law." It's the codification of Section 1 of the old Civil Rights Act of 1866, as subsequently rewritten by Congress in the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (in response to the Supreme Court's gradual weakening of the original Act). Among its many prohibitions, it prohibits racial discrimination in the making and enforcement of private contracts between private parties.

Section 1981 is the primary basis for lawsuits involving discrimination on the basis of race and national origin, but not sex, religion, or anything else. As made extremely clear by subsection (c), it reaches racial discrimination by both government and private parties: "The rights protected by this section are protected against impairment by nongovernmental discrimination and impairment under color of State law."

In the case of Runyon v. McCrary, 427 U.S. 160 (1976), a class action by African-American students seeking admission to exclusive private schools, the U.S. Supreme Court held by a 7-2 majority that Section 1981 does apply to private contracts. It also upheld the law against several constitutional challenges, including the challenge that it impaired the defendants' First Amendment freedom of association. The defendants were free to continue teaching white supremacy, and white parents had a right to continue to send their children to such institutions, but the right of association had never been construed to protect invidious private discrimination.

The point of the case is that when the proprietors of the schools entered into the business of offering the service of teaching schoolchildren to the general public, Section 1981 blocked them from denying that service to otherwise qualified schoolchildren just because those children were not white. The First Amendment right of association, as a implicit right derived from the right of free speech, only protected the defendants' right to express, as a group, their belief in the plaintiffs' inferiority.

Subsequent cases by lower courts have clarified that Section 1981 is much, much broader than most other civil rights laws, and reaches private contracts of all kinds, since it does not have the private club or private association exceptions seen in other laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Frankly, as a member of a minority ethnic group, I personally see nothing wrong with such jurisprudence or the fact that Congress further strengthened Section 1981 in 1991. People are still free to associate to discuss and express their personal views, no matter how controversial or distasteful; Section 1981 only bars them from discriminating on the basis of race when engaging in commercial activities. In all legal systems, personal rights are always circumscribed by the public policy of the larger group at some point. For example, contracts involving murder for hire are unenforceable because they violate the strong public policy against murder, even though anarcho-capitalists might argue that such public policy interferes with their personal right of freedom of contract. Freedom of speech is not unlimited, either; publishers can and have been held liable for writing guidebooks for hit men. Similarly, Congress has simply made a rational determination that racial discrimination is against the public policy of the United States.

In the American democratic system, people who do not like that determination are free to lobby Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to create a separate explicit right of free association for any purpose (not just speech) (though I doubt such a movement would go anywhere).

--Coolcaesar 05:55, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Are their references for the following claims from the "results" section?

  • "The minority students at Berkely, despite their lower SAT scores, do as well in class, statistically, as their higher-scoring white counterparts."
  • "Not only were the grades of the second tier statistically indistinguishable from those of the first tier, there was actually no statistical difference between the second tier and the top 15% of applicants in the first tier."

--Nectarflowed 03:19, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Until references are furnished, the claims appear to me to be too questionable to be included in an encyclopedia article, and I have removed the following two paragraphs.
    • Differing entrance qualifications often do not translate into differing performance once at university however. Students from poor inner-city high schools are unlikely to arrive at college as educated as preparatory school attendees, but are also more appreciative of the access to resources and knowledge a university affords. The minority students at Berkely, despite their lower SAT scores, do as well in class, statistically, as their higher-scoring white counterparts.
    • Texas was also the result of a unique experiment when a court ruled that a state medical school had to approximately double the number of students in an incoming class to meet anti-discrimination provisions. Not only were the grades of the second tier statistically indistinguishable from those of the first tier, there was actually no statistical difference between the second tier and the top 15% of applicants in the first tier.
--Nectarflowed (talk) 11:24, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
To cite the texas university as a comparable source for pre/post affirmative action is flawed. Other standards were then introduced (the tier system which is spoken of) that prevented the system from showing a true and unaffected application/admission/score statistic. Sources for these comparisons should not have other legislation affecting their policies of academics to be cited as a credible source for comparison.

April 30, 2006 No tag? This article makes numerous assertions:

"the college admission chances of a female university student will tend to be equal to that of a male student with SAT scores fifty points higher than hers."

"class rank ... likely confers advantage on underperforming minorities."

etc, etc... without citations. Now there is a references tag. Amen.


I added an NPOV tag. The bulk of this article seems to critique Affirmative action, rather than neutrally describe it. As a result, the article could use a major overhaul. At the least, criticisms may have more merit if fitted within the context of a less biased article. Perhaps the many critiques and subsequent disproportionately brief counterarguments throughout the article would be better placed within the sections with those headings. Regardless, any changes in a more neutral direction would be an improvement. While dispute is inevitable given the contentious nature of this topic, given that Wikipedia articles should conform to a neutral point of view, future editors should be more cognizant of these issues. See [[WP:NPOV]

"Flawed reasoning

Proponents of affirmative action often contend that racial diversity is intrinsically in the interest of an academic environment and as such a university is justified in taking means to ensure a racially diverse campus. This notion is mere assertion. Japan is perhaps the most racially homogenous nation on the planet and yet manages to have the highest per capita GDP. Relatively homogenous nations such as Germany, Korea and China are also uninhibited by their lack of diversity. The notion that racial diversity is necessary to enhance the quality of a campus atmosphere can not be substantiated by quantitative evidence. It's probably a nice idea, but it has no real basis and is surely poor justification to discriminate against qualified applicants on the basis of their race."

1) No references. 2) Not neutral 3) A nice idea is a message board post that has no place in an encylopedia.

BenFranklin June 11,2005

This article is highly biased. It does not present a balanced exploration of those opposed to and against affirmative action. Instead, it focuses describing the perspectives of the critics, and emphasizes the supposed flaws and costs. I will add an NPOV tag. (User:Musicus 24 July 2005)

April 30, 2006 I thought it was very strange that there was no NPOV tag on top of this clearly biased article. I added one. That is all.

The cleanup tag should have stayed as well...


I agree that this article needs to be cleaned up to NPOV, but it also should have retained the cleanup tag as well. This article is extremely incoherent and disorganized, and just rambles all over the place. Unfortunately, I don't have six hours or the energy to go through and rewrite this mess.

Also, spelling it "Affirmative Action," as several contributors to the article seem to be doing, is simply incorrect. Affirmative action is not the name of a specific program, but rather a description of a generic class or type of programs, and thus should not be capitalized.

Here's another example. Lawyers write "courts of chancery" when referring to them as an abstract class. For example: "Courts of chancery developed because of the failure of the courts of law to provide justice in certain types of cases." Another example: "The Lord Chancellor's informal procedures for handling such special appeals gradually evolved into the courts of chancery."

But they add capitalization when referring to a specific one, like this: "the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled today..."

For more information, see the article on capitalization. There are a lot of non-native English speakers using Wikipedia, though, so some misunderstanding is understandable.

--Coolcaesar 04:19, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This article is too USA-centric. It should be renamed Affirmative action in the USA, or something similar. Alternatively, is there a sociologist out there who can totally re-write this article to give it a global perspective? Arcturus 22:45, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The term "affirmative action" specefically refers to the US issue. Other countries other names.

It always seems to be difficult to explain an article from a NPOV when the topic is hightly contoversial. However, it MUST be stated that, FACTUALLY speaking, AA is an "institution brought forth to fight disrimination - by discriminating."

racism redirect

The search query "reverse racism" should redirect to "reverse discrimination", NOT to "affirmative action". Affirmative action is charged with being a type of reverse racism, but they are not exclusively synonymous, and, being as there IS an article explicitly on the subject of reverse discrimination, the redirect ought to go there. - Che Nuevara 04:51, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

It should probably be mentioned in the redirect that some think of affirmative action as reverse discrimination because of the different standards it sets for minorities, whether or not they are justified.

Reverse discrimination

Until SS added the link I hadn't realised that this article existed. Shouldn't the two be merged? The other article says that the terms are sometimes regarded as synonymous, but it's difficult to see why they're not always thus regarded. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:25, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Response to "White Backlash" comment: Affirmative Action discriminates against Asians? A university in California once used the Affirmative Action policy, where they accepted over 15% of Asians. Years later, they took it away and that same year, no Asians were accepted into the school. Wardell Connerlyis obviously not a very remarkable man. In essence, the claim that Affirmative Action discriminates against Asians is false.

Has he/she really forgotten tha name of that university? No. Because that university never existed, that is why he/she could not provide a name. So he/she simply made up the example to support a point -- and that example is counter-intuitive, to say the least. That is an untrue example. In essense, he did not prove anything. He did not show that the clain that Affirmative Action discriminates against Asians is false. ktchong 18 Augest 2006

White Backlash

The politicians who drew up Affirmative Action knew that it would generate a howl of protest from the rich people who own the United States. They're playing a game with black people. The scheme was to elect a U. S. President who would be a "Conservative." The rich people elected "Ron" Reagan in 1980 to (in his words) "take back America" (from the "Liberals"). "Ron" Reagan and "Bill" Clinton acted over a span of 16 years to funnel governmental funds away from poor people into the bank accounts of rich people. They were able to abscond with trillions of dollars because Affirmative Action had prepared the foundation by producing the howls of protest from the "Majority" (President Nixon's "silent majority").

A man from California named Wardell Connerly claims that "Affirmative Action discriminates against Whites and Asians." All sorts of odd opinions have been generated, which is precisely what the politicians knew when they enacted those Affirmative Action programs. They weren't innocent dumb-bunnies.

Their aim was to create "Conservatives" who could cite Affirmative Action programs as justification for the creation of other programs that would correct the onuses that had been placed onto the backs of rich people. TRICKLEDOWN emerged as the central governmental project of the 1980s. TRICKLEDOWN rewarded rich people by giving them lower tax rates, the reasoning being that richer rich people would allow money to "trickle down" into the hands of poor people.

U. S. President "Ron" Reagan is a great hero to so-called "Conservatives" who reside in the United States because he "created a level playing field" by being the great champion of the "White Backlash" and "tax cuts for the rich."

Trudy Sunday June 26th, 2005 17:54 Z * (talk · contribs)

reply: Sounds awfully like a "right-wing conspiracy". I'm not going to dicredit you because of that but rather because of the lack of any sites/sources etc to back up the claim. IMO it's a bit far-fetched but possible. There are a few oddities however, like how long it would take for the backlash and ultimate "trickledown" benefit to kick in makes it so those who originally contrived and started the "plan" would really gain no benefit. Only those who come later see any real benefit. Why would these folks execute such a conspiracy if there is no benefit to themselves. I mean after all, they are doing it for the cash correct? Or is there something i'm missing about the time-span it took for AA to be implemented? I mean after all, AA had been at least suggested and thought of long long before Reagan.

Systemic vs systematic

I've just reverted an anon's change to one of the cited articles (back to "A Systematic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools"). Googling produced equally persuasive sources for both, and the only Stanford document I found ([1]) uses both versions at different points. If anyone has the journal, could they check the correct title? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 8 July 2005 21:32 (UTC)

OK, forget it. I managed to get through to the author's Web page (I've up-dated that link in the article), and it should be "systemic". --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 8 July 2005 21:38 (UTC)

Arthur Fletcher

The recently deceased Arthur Fletcher was described in many obituaries as "the father of affirmative action", but his name does not even show up in the article. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:28, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

Removal of information

Would someone who has been actively working on this article have a look at this recent anonymous uncommented removal of information? I think it is inappropriate and should be reverted, but I don't know this article well enough to be comfortable saying (perhaps it was redundant) and I don't have time to really read the article right now. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:02, July 22, 2005 (UTC)

I've just noticed your comment, by which time I'd reverted the vandalism (which is all it was). --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:15, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Removed this part

"The average cost or benefit of college affirmative action in terms of SAT points (on 1600-point scale) is as follows: [2]

  • Blacks: +230
  • Hispanics: +185
  • Asians: −50
  • Recruited Athletes: +200
  • "Legacies" (children of alumni): +160"

Now obviously boldening in this manner is agenda-driving, but I'm also concerned about laying out a large section for just one unremarkable study, especially one that makes an undervisited conclusion. I suggest the author reformat any points into text as a first step.

This is a very well-written piece. The authors themselves took fairly neutral positions and just laid out their findings.

lots of issues | leave me a message 10:05, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

If it is agenda driven, as you indicate, then what is the agenda? I mean, in reading the block and looking for an agenda, the only possible agenda I can see is that it is supporting the claim that AA isn't necessary as some minorities don't need it. If that's true, then the best response isn't to remove it but to provide an oppossing view to that claim in addition to it. 11:24, 17 July 2006 (UTC)


The introduction is very POV....why are there 3 criticisms and an exploration of the criticisms in the introduction of the encyclopedic article? That should be moved to different section. - anonymous one


I'm sorry, but this article is heavily biased. Half the article is the criticism of AA(some seem to be random "oh yeah...and this TOO" hostile opinion about AA and not a credible cited academic or instutional criticism of affirmative action) and there's little discussion or explanation of the history and socioeconomic results of AA mentioned anywhere in the article. This whole article is agenda-driven. I recommend incorporating Encarta Online's article into this....they present AA way more objectively and appropriately. I also recommend addition of Proponents section with Criticism section, have the criticism section more organized. How do you stick a neutrality is disputed on top? This needs a huge overhaul, why don't we put the neutrality is disputed on top, and then create a outline in this discussion which we can agree upon before official editting? Agree...disagree?- anonymous one

I agree w working on the article, I disagree that a dispute header is waranted. ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ 03:50, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Majority of the article is just criticism of affirmative action..including the introduction and then an entire section of random criticisms filling 1/3 to 1/2 of the article. There aren't much facts or historical incidents here for a policy that has existed for 4 decades.

I think the criticisms of affirmative action should be moved from the introduction. Criticism of any policy or idea thing shouldn't be in the introduction of any article or its POV and agenda-driven.

I think the history of AA should be expanded a bit more. Furthermore, the Results section seems inappropriate...why is one professor's opinion of the matter relevant to the social, political, and economic outcomes of affirmative action on America? I think this Encarta article is a good guide, although I'm not advocating copying it.

- anonymous one.

Heavily Biased Article. Why is there a whole section of criticism without a pro-side response? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:31, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree. The section for justification is filled with criticisms and doesn't even touch on the underlying reasoning. I think a dispute header is warranted. Eternalmonkey (talk) 02:36, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Biological differences and racism

The article claims:

"...Some of these proponents point to controversial and highly disputed studies that purport that whites and Asians on average have higher IQs than blacks. Many supporters believe the physical characteristics inherent in certain races contribute to varying levels of intelligence and mental capacity of the race. This view, having roots in the theory of phrenology, is currently dismissed or criticized as being pseudoscience."

This is undoubtedly false. The existence of IQ gap between whites and blacks is not disputed by anyone in the scientific community. The article Race and intelligence says, for example: "In 2005, the scholarly debate continues on the question of whether the cause of group differences in average IQ is purely social, economic, and cultural or whether genetic factors are also involved". The question asked is not "whether there are group differences in average IQ or there aren't", but "what causes these differences". At the same time there is more than enough evidence at least to consider the possibility that IQ is heritable to some extent. This may appear racist, but it's just as much the fact of life as it is that blacks play in NBA or win marathons more often than whites. --Itinerant1 19:42, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

  1. The idea that IQ is directly correlated with any genuine, natural property such as intelligence is itself dubious.
  2. The above discussion assumes that mention of race means "race in the U.S."; that there is a in between intelligence between whites and blacks is most certainly disputed, as is the less interesting (and more theory-laden) claim that there's a difference in IQ levels. There may well be a difference inthe results of certain sorts of IQ test between races in the U.S., but that's very different from saying that there's a difference between the races full stop. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:07, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
It's sad, if not unexpected, that SS replaced the rather racist, PoV material without bothering to respond here. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:48, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Comments like that make it clear there is no use in responding to you. ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ 21:52, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, disputes are never too late to be worked out positively. Mel, mainstream intelligence experts view IQ as a good measure of intelligence, and it has good predictive power for real-world outcomes. The racial disparity in intelligence has been found in a wide variety of cognitive ability tests. The causes of the disparity are where opinion splits. This statement of Mainstream Science on Intelligence verifies these points. (Html version here)--Nectarflowed T 23:05, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

But "mainstream intelligence experts" are precisely those people who think that IQ tests are a good measure of intelligence. Many, many psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, and other academics and professionals disagree (see, for example: [3], [4], [5], PDF file; this just came from a quick Google search on "IQ as a measure of intelligence"). --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:43, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Of course, it is up to you to decide whether you believe that IQ tests are a good measure of intelligence. Any book or web site by "mainstream intelligence experts" will give you references to the tests that show correlations between IQ as measured by tests and socioeconomic parameters such as highest attained level of education, chance to go to prison, etc. However, that's beside the point here. I'm trying to make a much narrower claim: 1) African-Americans on average have significantly lower scores on SAT and GRE tests than caucasian Americans. The data is readily available. Surely you can't accuse the testing organizations of being racist. 2) SAT and GRE scores are highly correlated with IQ. 3) Therefore ( as well as because of the results of direct IQ tests ) African-Americans have lower IQs than whites. 4) It has been discovered that IQs of identical twins are more correlated than IQs of non-identical siblings, and those are in turn more correlated than IQs of adopted brothers and sisters. Therefore there is a genetic factor that predetermines IQ to some extent. That's all there is to it. No need to mention phrenology or pseudoscience. --Itinerant1 18:08, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

This is getting worse.
  1. Certain tests are "highly correlated with" IQ, therefore poor performance on those tests establishes lower IQ.
  2. We can conclude that "African-Americans have lower IQs than whites".
  3. Work done on small numbers of identical and non-identical twins and unrelated adopted siblings suggests that IQ is related to biology.
The first simplistic and specious point is not a valid inference. Correlation isn't enough. The second is also a basic, standard fallacy, though I'll be generous and assume that you just expressed yourself badly. the third is both contested by many scientists (my Google search would have shown that, even if I hadn't been aware of the controversy anyway) and poorly thought-out as you present it.
None of this involves intelligence, only the artefact "IQ". Most people ignorantly suppose that IQ is uncontroversially a measurement of intelligence; therefore, to make these claims in the article, even if they were uncontroversial and NPoV in themselves, would be very misleading.
Those interested in reading more on some of the issues here might like to look at:
  • Leon Kamin The Science and Politics of IQ
  • Steven Rose Lifelines (pp 284–286)
  • William Broad & Nicholas Wade Betrayers of the Truth (chapter 11)
  • H.J. Eysenck versus Leon Kamin Intelligence: The Battle for the Mind
Some of them are a bit old now, but nonetheless useful in uncovering the misuse of science, either by those with political agendas, or simply by those who are confused. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 19:00, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Mel Etitis: I suggest you familiarize yourself with the facts on race-intelligence correlation. You are not the worst. But you are intentionally and unintentionally using straw men to mock your opponents here. You have done that instead of facing the argument.
  1. Correlation is a statistical concept which does mean what you ridicule.
  2. Is misphrased. But you dishonestly ridicule and wave its actual meaning away. That is that the racial averages are significantly different. This is contested by a large portion of political advocates. But it is contested by a small and unyielding fringe of scientists.
  3. Suggests exactly that.
IQ is not an artifact. Its predictive validity for those domains it is meant to predict is high. That is not seriously disputed by statisticians.
No one with a "political agenda" in the USA has admitted the race/intelligence correlation. Much less advocated a dishonestly favorable characterization of it. The official policy of the Federal Government is the opposite. That is, affirmative action.
Sam Spade's response was not helpfully phrased. But I am forced to agree with his conclusion: I think you are afraid of the truth on this subject. This is unnecessary.
Race Reality 19:32, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Sneak Attacks

A long time ago, a Roman leader in the Roman Empire hated Jews, however, he knew that he could not attack them directly. He sneakily attacked the Jews by giving them "privileges" that ordinary Romans did not have available to themselves.

All hell broke loose in the first century A.D. due to the resentment that the "privileges" engendered in the citizens of Rome. A war against the Jews was fought in 66 A.D.

The gist of Affirmative Action is that it is a sneak attack on Negroes. It employs the same sneaky approach that the Romans employed against the Jews. The sneakiness involves the creation of resentment in members of the general population. It gave the Ku Klux Klan (and millions of others) a foundation from which to launch their attacks on Negroes, precisely as Romans had been provided with a foundation from which to launch their attacks on Jews who lived amidst Romans in the first century A.D.

Modern Caucasians are able to swear that the U. S. Government lambastes them. The Caucasians of the 1870s swore that the U. S. Government was "anti-white" after the passage of the Reconstruction Acts. It is all monkey business, though, since Caucasians are landowners and Negroes are landless peasants and street urchins in the United States.

Iesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum was nailed to a cross.

Like the Romans of old Rome, the Caucasian citizens of the United States will never reveal that they are a part of a sneak attack. They want to be "victims" who are "the wrong color." It is monkey business. 02:53, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Herod family
The Herod family was involved in the sneak attack on the Jews who resided in the Roman Empire.
(No, I am not a Jew). 14:27, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

reply: it's difficult to take you seriously or at least see your piece as neutral when you blatantly generalize/are racist/attack caucasians. i would perhaps consider they pseudo-conspiracy theory if, oh, i don't know, SOME PROOF WAS PROVIDED??

I disagree. He or she makes a good point and while this may have not been the intent of AA, it has certainly been the result (ever listen to limbaugh?). Your sarcastic reply didn't help anything. Don't forget that what he said about the romans is true; whether it's also true today, whether it was premeditated is the question. And making generalizations is not the same as being racist... it is acceptable to say, for example, "caucasians in the South opposed the civil rights movment" and not be racist, for it was certainly true of the vast majority, even if there were a few (pitifully few, rather) exceptions. And just to let you know, calling his argument a pseudo-conspiracy theory, I beleive, is in fact calling it a valid theory. And don't forget to sign your comments!--2tothe4 23:06, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
Nobody disputes this dubious (not to say bulls***) claim about Jewish privileges in the Roman Empire? I'd sure as hell like to see a source for that. In general, after all, if the Romans hated someone...that someone pretty much ceased to exist after a short period of time. Why, exactly, couldn't a Roman leader attack the Jews directly? 07:01, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Recently added, recently cut

I have cut the following recently added section from the article:

Affirmative action is said to rectify past injustice, but it is not apportioned to all racial and religious groups which have been persecuted. In the United States the following groups do not benefit:
  • Japanese, despite the internment program and widespread perjorative use of "Jap" and prevalent anti-Japanese prejudiced attitudes of World War 2.
  • Chinese, despite longstanding perjorative use of "Chink" as a racist term, and characterization as stupid cheap laborers, and anti-opium laws described as a means of combating Chinese abductions and drugings of white women, and the British Imperial suppression of their home country.
  • Jews, despite the Holocaust, and the views of the majority white Protestants that Jews are enemies of Christianity and therefore to be excluded, and their efforts toward that.
  • Roman Catholics, despite laws targetting their children for prohibiting attending private schools, and similar Protestant antagonism.
  • Irish, being predominantly Catholic.
  • Italians, being predominantly Catholic.
  • Indians, despite the British Imperial suppression of their home country.

Clearly, this is polemical and uncited. It's also beside the point, and egregiously nasty in the way it chooses to talk about discrimination by using racist language. Affirmative action was not a program of reparations to "rectify past injustice" (let alone to rectify all past injustices, as the author of this seems to be suggesting). It was overtly, from the outset, a program intended to give opportunity to members of certain groups who, in the judgment of those who intiated the program, had been denied it on a group basis. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:35, August 23, 2005 (UTC)

"It's also beside the point"
That is on topic.
"and egregiously nasty in the way it chooses to talk about discrimination by using racist language"
Usage of racist perjoratives by the public is said by its proponents to necessitate affirmative action. And other measures. The groups which benefit from affirmative action programs are not alone in suffering such attacks. Attempting to pretend you're defending such groups while removing information on their comparative worthiness for affirmative action is ridiculous.
"Affirmative action was not a program of reparations to "rectify past injustice""
ridiculous. Its proponents almost universally say that.
"(let alone to rectify all past injustices, as the author of this seems to be suggesting)"
That is a straw man. Probably intentional.
"It was overtly, from the outset, a program intended to give opportunity to members of certain groups who, in the judgment of those who intiated the program, had been denied it on a group basis."
No. for one example, lynch attacks on blacks are commonly cited as reasons for affirmative action. Afirmative action does not give the opportunity to live. It gives something never denied. It gives something non-benefitng groups never had. That is a preferential admissions system and contract allocation and subsidies. Affirmative action programs do not give Catholics who were denied choice of school. Or Japanese shinto or Catholics again who were denied freedom of religion. Or Jews who have been denied life and freedom of religion and association and many other things.
if someone wishes to suggest some way to point out the failure of affirmative action to correlate suffering and oppression and deprivation with benefits you can. If you want to find something not on the topic or not true Jmabel you can. Race Reality 00:29, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

On the site of the University of Illinois at Springfield Office of Multicultural Student Affairs: Bakke and Beyond:

The policy was introduced in 1965 by President [Lyndon] Johnson as a method of redressing discrimination that had persisted in spite of civil rights laws and constitutional guarantees. "This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights," Johnson asserted. "We seek… not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.

Note that word "persisted". This was about present inequality, not past injustice.

…From the outset, affirmative action was envisioned as a temporary remedy that would end once there was a "level playing field" for all Americans

Jmabel | Talk 06:07, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

Your failure to contest anything else looks good to me. And your weak attempt to defend this looks even better. i said "is said to" and you have cherry-picked one (important) person. Let us see how many examples we can find:
"Measures taken to correct the effects of past discrimination in hiring and promotion"
"Definition: Affirmative action is an attempt to remedy the past discrimination received by minorities and women by giving preferences in social benefits and educational opportunities. Affirmative action was originally put in place by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and by an executive order in 1965."
"Noun 1. affirmative action - a policy designed to redress past discrimination against women and minority groups through measures to improve their economic and educational opportunities; "affirmative action has been extremely controversial and was challenged in 1978 in the Bakke decision"" and
"A policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment."
"Good faith efforts to ensure equal employment opportunity and correct the effects of past discrimination against affected groups." []
"A policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment."
"affirmative action, in the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women."
That's getting too long so I'll give up there. The claim is everywhere.
And you ridiculously suggest these groups suffer no ongoing bigotry. Jews are all better n ow? Except that American had a president (George H W Bush) recently who was well known to hate jews. And now his son has said non-Christians (Jews, most Japanese, most Chinese, most Indians) are damned. Are homosexuals getting scholarship money to make up for their (persisting) nability to marry?
And if both political parties, every recent president (even Nixon), most large corporations, the vast majority of movie and music celebrities, the vast majority of white Americanss favor preferential treatment for blacks, the KKK is dead, what kind of a low standard are you using? Who else qualifies for preferential treatment because of some invisible oppression that isn't specified and is hard to find and doesn't have government support? The groups I cited maybe? Catholics have had (disproportionately) onl one president, and more Americans are afraid of having a Chinese for President than a Black President. You get the idea. Race Reality 01:28, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
I just simply don't have the time or patience to engage in a lengthy debate with you on this, nor to do the research to back up my view. I may get to it some time. I still have trouble crediting you with good intentions as you smuggle the words "Jap" and "Chink" into an article on affirmative action, and suggest that the oppression of Jews or Irish in the contemporary U.S. even approaches that of African Americans. -- 05:40, August 25, 2005 (UTC)

No, sadly the KKK is not dead. 22:45, 10 January 2007 (UTC)


I have added information about James Farmer in the introduction. I think that it is important to realize who came up with the idea before President Johnson publicly announced it.

I added stats about the graduation rates between white and black students at UCLA under Results. It gives quantatative support for criticism of affirmative action.

I have also added a section under Counter-Arguments about the way many people think affirmative action affects society as a whole, rather than just the minorities it is intended for. It has support included in it from the American Psychological Assication. It is important because it shows more benefits for affirmative action than only those of minorities. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 26 Sept 2005.

Implementation in Universities

I added two paragraphs to this section. Basically, I've realized that all, or at least the main, academic benchmarks used for college admission are biased (or more than they should be, in the case of minorities) in favor of minorities, ie affirmative action is 'institutionalized'. Admissions is usually predicated upon academics and various other things. The academics portion is comprised of usually GPA, SAT scores, and class rank. Of marginal importance is teacher recommendations, though those are less easily quantified of course. But, here is why those benchmarks are biased: GPA - inner city schools tend to have higher average GPAs then more rigorous schools, ("soft bigotry of low expectations"). I did not put it in because I could not find a pertinent article, but I have seen one before online. Class Rank - This is pretty self explanatory. Its far easier for a person to be in the top decile at a crappy school than at an elite one quite obviously. Schools dominated by blacks and hispanics tend to be mediocre in student ability. SAT - from what I cited, standardized tests lose some of their predictive validity for substantial deviations from the mean of a group. Also, the group from which one comes matters. An analogy I read explaining this: There are two cab companies in a city, one green, one blue. The former has 85% of the taxis, the latter 15%. Now, a woman is hit by a taxicab. She says she got hit by a blue one. Should the population of blue taxis, relative to other colors, be taken into account? What if there are a million taxis and only one is blue? And so on. Adjusting the score of blacks to improve predictive validity would mitigate this problem, but it would LOOK, but not be, undeniably racist. Robert Klitgaard in choosing elites estimated that blacks true scores were 240 points lower than what they recieved, but I did not cite that as that was on the old old SAT (pre1994). Personally, I believe that any improvement in predictive validity, no matter how racist it may SEEM, is justifiable and warranted if the goal is enhanced productivity (whether the final output is freshman GPA or profits).

I am sorry if my additions sound biased. Please correct them so that they do not, if you think they do, but do not delete them. Please try to cite some sources for the class rank phenomenon I mentioned above. If you can, try to find some sources corroborating the GPA inflation in inner cities. There may be other benchmarks that only really aim to improve minority representation. I believe that the focus on extracurriculars is just to make the process less transparent and meritocratic. 'Holistic' admissions are just admissions with an unwritten quota. Of course, I cannot corroborate this, at least not that I know of. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 2 Oct 2005.

  • As far as I can see, this practically amounts to saying "I'm pushing my politics with original research and largely uncited claims." I am not reverting at present, but this is part of what seems to me to be a steady campaign by several editors to turn this article into an anti-affirmative action diatribe. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:29, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I am opposed to affirmative action, and that probably seeped into my writing, but the piece regarding predictive validity is valid. Regarding the predictive validity, it is only extending (and making more accurate) the information about disparities in SAT scores. I ask that you either edit it so that it is less tendentious or refute me with evidence. I will try to add more evidence to corroborate. Look, you KNOW that class rank is affirmative action in sheep's clothing, else why would every public university that drops affirmative action instantly pick up the class rank procedure. Class rank is pretty self explanatory. You go to a shitty school, with underperforming kids, and you have an easier time getting a high class rank. The "under represented" minorities' highschool's students tend to be lacking, making a top rank gradewise there easier to obtain and and look more lofty than it truly is. Black White SAT scores are about a standard deviation apart. Why then expect class rank to be a fair measure of comparison among effectively segregated highschools? Do these minorities magically do better in school than on the SATs? The encyclopedia should as best as possible, illustrate the extent of affirmative action. There is bountiful material on the subject, and wikipedia should not strive to cover it all. But I think a cursory mention of its extent is definitely warranted. With affirmative action, people only look at SAT scores, when that is not the only disparity. Therefore, the problem lies with partisan rhetoric, but not the content itself, and a lack of sources cited. So long as the article retains a tone of neutrality, and sanguine analysis, it is fair, even if the proposed 'benefits' are vastly shorter than the alleged dangers, or vice versa. I'm sorry if my evidence (if valid) does not comport with your attitudes, but the point is to give more, not less information, no matter its intent or consequence. Of course, partisans will always forward that which aligns with their opinion, but this works both ways, and is a valid incentive for contribution so long as they are moderated and examined for purposes of validity.

  • Use of class rank isn't so much "affirmative action in sheeps clothing" as "affirmative action within what the Supreme Court has determined to be the law". It targets slightly different, but highly overlapping, groups than were targetted earlier, the main difference being that it probably benefits people from poor, predominantly white communities, who did not benefit from earlier forms of affirmative action. But that it is largely a different means to similar ends is not an "open secret", it's simple "open". Nothing sinister going on, no college or university I've ever heard of made it a secret that they wish to try to recruit more from what they perceive as underrepresented populations, within the limits of the law. The Supreme Court has never said "affirmative action is illegal." What they have done is to rule on specific affirmative action programs, and there have been two key rulings that prohibited common approaches: Bakke ruled out racial/ethnic quotas and Gratz ruled out certain "mechanical" applications of numbers. Conversely, Grutter indicated a refusal to trash the concept entirely. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:40, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

"it probably benefits people from poor, predominantly white communities" Maybe, but still, ALL three states adopt as a criteria for admission, or place more importance on, (I know not which) class rank after abandoning affirmative action. Poor whites do better than rich blacks, judging by SAT scores, meaning that a top 10% classification will be far more beneficial to a black, when considering other statistics. Using class rank exclusively, you would not be able to tell the difference between the SAT 16/2400 Asian in the top decile at Jefferson High of Virginia and the hispanic with a 1000 SAT and a top 10% ranking at the inner city Jefferson High of LA (where race riots broke out). Anything that makes more prominent statistics that disproportionately favor blacks or hispanics (ie. the races that recieve preference) like class rank will make them easier to admit. Underlying both is a goal of diversity. At times, the majority of the public will not support techniques that make explicit use of race to achieve diversity, thus precipitating the use of mechanisms that achieve diversity, although usually not as effectively. I agree with you, in that you say class rank is just a way to work around affirmative action to accomplish the same thing, diversity, in university admissions. Anything, in my mind, that aims to achieve diversity is affirmative action, whether it involves a double standard or not. That is the original defintion anyway. By the way, I would not say that everyone, or even most people, realize that class rank is affirmative action in sheep's clothing as you adroitly put it (no sarcasm). I, a few years ago (17 now), thought that class rank was a wise alternative to affirmative action when first hearing about the switch from the latter to the former. Now, I consider that viewpoint folly and think of it is as you said, AA in sheep's clothing, though cruder.

About the mechanism, it really does not matter if you use quotas or 'holistic admissions.' Each college, based on their perspective and applicant pool, decides the optimal amount of minorities. There is a tradeoff between student quality and minority representation, until you get to the point where minority applicants are roughly equivalent to majority applicants. Does it matter if the university explicitly has quotas, or aligns the system to achieve the representation it wants, by continously altering standards (up or down)? To achieve a 10% black student ratio may require dipping below some arbitrary threshold that the university does not want to dip below. Someone, I forget, studied the admissions process at Wesleyan, and wrote a book on it. One of the admissions officers said he was expected to either maintain the same level of minorities as the previous year's enrollment, or raise it. Again, does it matter if it is explicit or implicit? You may say that an implicit one allows for adjustment to the quality of applicants (like a sudden increase in the quality of hispanic applicants, enabling their higher representation in the university). I'd say that applicant pools, at least in recent years, when they change, change only for the better. Meaning, the university could impose quotas that anticipate and account for these trends, either for stability, or decline or increase in applicant quality.

I wonder about the viability of a lawsuit questioning these procedures to promote diversity, if you could show (beyond reasonable doubt) AA as their intent. It's probably more up to the discretion of the judges than the law itself. Weak as it is, one could say, so long as race is not explicitly used, its permitted.

The "predictive validity" issue discussed before is mentioned in The Bell Curve by Hernstein and Murray.

Also, link number 9, about results in Texas, does not work. (I'm a little dubious of the equality of the students mentioned there.) The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 6 Oct 2005.

Objection to thesis of this article

Affirmative Action seems to refer not to systems designed to favor minorities, but to favor underachieving groups. In the vernacular, AA refers as much to majority-favoring preferences such as in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. If Affirmative Action is indeed only a form of systemic preference applying to minorities, then what is the term given to the wider practice of group preferences in general? More to the point, Affirmative Action in the vernacular obviously doesn't simply apply only to the practice in America, even though America is the only country that calls it such (as far as I know, I'd appreciate being corrected).

I suggest either this article attempt to broaden its scope to accurately reflect its use in the vernacular, or be narrowed to accurately reflect its strictly correct usage (which would suggest the necessity of new articles covering the more general practice of gruup preferences). As it is now it does neither, and creates the illusion that existing group preference systems only favor minorities when that clearly isn't the case. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 6 Oct 2005.

Slightly weird insertion

The following was recently inserted. It is POV ("the obvious analogue"), lacks context ("Challenge 3"?), not Wikipedia style (weird citation), oddly formatted, somewhat misspelled, etc. Nonetheless, I believe there is substance here worth having in the article; someone may want to sort this out and get it in there in a more appropriate manner. I assume that the citation given at the bottom is the source of all of this; a page number would be a lot more useful than W.W. Norton's street address. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:36, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

<begin cut text>

  • Challenge 3 is a claim for group-based distribution. It holds that some major division in society are relevant to distributive equity and that membership in a group based on these divisions should sometimes outweigh individual characteristics in determining distribution. In societies with liberal individualist ideologies,group-base distribution is usually proposed as a remedy for previous violations of merit-or rank-based distribution to compensate them for historical deprivation based on their gender.
  • the obvious analogue in contemporary politics is affirmative action, a policy of distributive preference to members of groups that have been the victims of historical discrimination. Discussions of affirmative action usually conflate it with quotas, but affirmative action as it has been practiced in the U.S. has not always, or even mostly, involved quotas. Affirmative action is a loose term for various policies to give some group, primarily African American and women, an extra boost in distributive decisions. These policies include extra efforts to advertise job openings in outlets targeted to minority groups; extra steps in hiring to ensure that untraditional qualifications and carrer paths are not ovelooked; special programs to enlarge the pool of qualified minority applicants (for example,summer erichement programs at universities, or mentoring programs in businesses);altering the criteria for selection to give more weight to the special experiences (including discrimination) of members of minority groups. Affirmative action has been used primarily in education (distributing places in higher education),employment (distributing jobs and promotions), and business opportunities (distributing government contracts and financial credit).
   Stone,Deborah A. (1997) POLICY PARADOX:The Art of Political Decision Making
   W.W.Norton & Company,Inc.,500 Fifht Avenue, New York,N.Y.10110
   by Eusebio Castillo

<end cut text>


Would the next administartor passing by plese slap a NPOV dispute tag on this articile, as well as a needs to be cleaned up tag? The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 25 Oct 2005.

You can do either of these things exactly as easily as an administrator. However, if you are going to slap an NPOV dispute tag on the article, you must explain here on the talk page what you see as the POV issues, or it will simply be removed. Also, on an article this large with this long a history and this many participants, a cleanup tag probably won't accomplish much, but if you have specific suggestions what you see needing to be done, make them here. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:28, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
An {NPOV-sect} tag placed in the specific sections of concern is often more helpful than a global NPOV tag.--Nectar T 06:08, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Usage of "affirmation action"?

My understanding has always been that "affirmative action" and "positive discrimination" are not originally simply US and UK terms for the same thing:

Positive discrimination (as I have understood it) is the practise of racial, sexual or other "identity-based" discrimination in order to counter the effects of the opposite form of discrimination, and is almost synonymous with "reverse discrimination".

Affirmative action (as I have understood it), while frequently used as a euphemism for positive discrimination or reverse discrimination, is a means of countering the effects of identity-based discrimination by means of "circumstance-based" measures: e.g. giving special educational help to kids from a deprived neighbourhood to improve their chances of getting into college. The idea is that if such measures help, say, more black kids than white kids then it is because of their circumstances (which may have been caused by racism) rather than directly because of their race.

Unfortunately, I cannot quote any sources beyond recollections of a serious British TV programme [possibly in the early 1980s] that investigated affirmative action in the USA, and in which the distinction I have made here was made by those involved in creating and implementing affirmative action programmes in (if my memory serves) Detroit.

I don't claim any knowledge of the subject beyond this, and I am not particularly familiar with Wikipedia (although I have read the guidelines) so I am not sure if this comment is welcome. However, it seems to me that it deserves to be seen so that someone can seek verification of this usage. 14:15, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Sticking to US (and without checking sources, so I might be slightly off): when the programs were first bandied about, they were referred to as "affirmative discrimination", but because of the negative connotations of "discrimination", the term "affirmative action" was adopted. This was the mid-1960s; the initial thought was about Blacks, although other ethnic minorities (especially Hispanics) were soon included as well, and (especially because this coincided with Second Wave feminism) women. The early programs were mostly quota-based: this made sense because, in fact, a lot of US institutions already had (or had recently dropped) racial and ethnic quotas, though rarely publicly. (For example, it was well-known, though never publicly admitted, that many of the prestigious colleges in the Northeast had anti-Jewish quotas.) Gender quotas were more public: many institutions of higher education were single-sex; most of the rest admitted fixed numbers of males and females; help-wanted ads were divided into "Help Wanted Male" and "Help Wanted Female". The idea was to take this existing discrimination and leverage it in a different direction. Rather Burkean, that.
By the mid-1970s, courts were ruling outright quotas illegal, regardless of the reasons behind them. The University of California Regents v. Bakke (Supreme Court decision 1978, I looked that up), generally known as the Bakke Case, ruled that race or ethnicity could not be an absolute determinant in admissions or hiring decisions, but didn't rule it out as a factor. Later court decisions have gone further: it is now pretty exceptional for race, ethnicity, or gender to be legally permitted as a factor in admissions or hiring decisions (though race and ethnicity are not completely out of the question, as was determined in the 2003 U. Michigan law school case; certain gender discrimination can still be justified on a public policy basis, though I don't think this extends anywhere to school admissions or hiring). So, programs with this same intent of countering the effects of past discrimination have had to be more creative, focusing on recruiting, training, etc., or finding other indicators of disadvantage (income, for example) that so not raise constitutional issues.
The term "reverse discrimination" is very loaded. It contains an implicit critique of affirmative action, suggesting that the net effect is discrimination (typically against white men) rather than merely counterbalancing other societal factors that cause racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination in the first place. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:59, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
"Reverse discrimination" is loaded, but then so is "affirmative action". The previous poster is right, though--"positive discrimination" is heard in Britain. Other countries have still more arcane terms (like the "reservations" and "schedules" of India). 08:45, 14 January 2006 (UTC)


There is no citation for the (to my eyes) unlikely claim about Belgium making "job opportunities available exclusively to immigrants". This seems particularly unlikely given that Belgium is resisting economic immigration even from within the EU [6]. User:1652186, a recent contributor who has been writing almost exclusively about Belgium and about racially tinged violence added this material; I have requested citation. - Jmabel | Talk 05:32, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

This has been somewhat cleared up and a citation provided; it does seem substantially correct, although the citation only seems to cover part of what the paragraph says, I've asked further questions at User talk:1652186. - Jmabel | Talk 20:48, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Citations a mess

The citations and references in this article are a bit of a mess: mostly blind links. Someone should probably clear this up, since this is an inevitably controversial topic, and sources are important. If no one gets to this soon, I'll try to take it on. - Jmabel | Talk 20:48, 3 February 2006 (UTC)


I added a little bit about the subsequent history of I-200, and removed a phrase I thought was misleading. The Washington legislature has the power to amend an initiative passed by the people at any time. It takes a supermajority for two years, then it is treated like any other piece of legislation, though historically, the legislature has approached the amendment of initiatives with some caution. Lutanite 06:53, 12 February 2006 (UTC)


The first two paragraphs were fine until hijacked it on Feb. 15th and put in his useless pro-affirmative action commentary. Right after you read the words "Myth has it...", you know the article is useless.--Bigplankton 18:24, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I said screw it and just removed them. AHHH, much better. Now we have a short concise opening, and the rest of the article explains what Affirm. A. is. Instead of the obvious hijack by, who is probably shocked it lasted this long.--Bigplankton 18:40, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Affirmative Action & EEO & Workforce Diversity & Age Discrimination Act

Why Affirmative Action didn't include the concept of " Anti-Age-Discrimination" initially ?

What relationship between AA / EEO / Workforce Diversity / Anti-Age-Discrimination ?

If there is an female-black-applicant ( of discrimination claimer ) over 50-year-old, which rule should be adopted ? ( any legal priority among above 4 rules )

I'm so curious about this issue, and wanna do some suvey & interview with whom work in public sectors....any resource or volunteer?

Please sort the Affirmative action page out.

The Affirmative Action page is a mess of POV, unreferenced assertions and excessive punctuation. Could someone with some knowledge and an attempt at impartiality do some work to it?

In my view from the periphery, I think "affirmative action" is something to be taken when and where others may be interested but unable to help. eg when concerned stakeholders are otherwise "stuck".

Yours sincerely 19:45, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Modification of MLK's view

It says now: "Contrary to popular belief, and despite his call for a colorblind nation, Martin Luther King Jr. supported affirmative action since by requiring employers to conduct such analyses, it makes it much more difficult for employers to discriminate. Some argue that he advocated socioeconomic based affirmative action. Others contend that despite his call, he favored race-based affirmative action. King conceded that the vast majority of the poor were black, implying that he could frame his proposals in terms of class and not race, while still achieving the end of compensatory treatment, albeit via a more agreeable position. While he advocates at different times socioeconomic- and race-based affirmative action, his comments seem to favor the latter. Among his comments:" But this is not correct. I originally wrote this paragraph, with ample quotes, which I readily admit were a bit messy. But as I wrote before, MLK supported AA as he saw as it compensation for past discrimination, and the quotes strongly supported this conclusion. I do not recall him saying anything regarding employment discrimination, at least among the quotes I saw. My suggested revision (or better to return the paragraph to its original state with some or all of the accompanying quotes, or new quotes to support the current paragraph. "Contrary to popular belief, and despite his call for a colorblind nation, Martin Luther King Jr. supported affirmative action as a program to compensate for past discrimination. Some argue that he advocated socioeconomic based affirmative action. Others contend that he favored race-based affirmative action. King conceded that the vast majority of the poor were black, implying that he could frame his proposals in terms of class and not race, while still achieving the end of preferential treatment, albeit via a more agreeable position. While he advocates at different times socioeconomic- and race-based affirmative action, his comments seem to favor the latter. Among his comments:[my original quotes here]" It's questionable whether to say compensatory or preferential treatment. On the one hand, the supposed reason for AA was "compensation." On the other, the individuals recieving "compensation" are not really the ones deserving of it - they were not the target of most, if not all salient discrimination. And, ultimately, AA is preferential treatment. The clearest substitute for the phrase of 'Affirmative Action' (an opaque term) is in my opinion racial preferences. But people tend to form a new phrase to bandy about for every idea they hatch. Supports here: Hopefully I'll return soon and revise the article.

Israel's Law of Return

Should this be mentioned? After all, that's basically what it is - affirmative action. 11:02, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

That's a stretch. No, it really shouldn't be mentioned here. By the way, similar laws exist in Ireland and Germany, and I suspect that they exist in quite a few other countries. The topic of ethnically-based laws of return may merit an article, but it would be a distinct article. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:31, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

"Far left groups support Affirmative Action"

Actually, many don't. Unsubtantiated generalization removed. Thesobrietysrule 05:54, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Yeah, I've yet to see one far left group that's not Stalinist or Maoist that supports AA. 02:44, 1 May 2006 (UTC)



The Antidiskriminierungsgesetz mentioned in the paragraph concerning Germany is actually based on several EU directives, which have to be incorporated into national law in all the member states. Maybe someone wants to include a paragraph talking about the situation in Europe (EU). The respective directives are 2004/43/EG (June 29th 2000), 2000/78/EG (November 27th 2000), 2002/73/EG (September 23rd 2002) and 2004/113/EG (December 13th 2004). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 4 April 2006 (talkcontribs)

libertarian view

The "Libertarian View" section is illogical and/or unfactual. Here are my complaints: 1. "as they reportedly distort the situation" Nonsensical vernacular which shouldn't be in encyclopedia. If it is "reported," then the source should be cited, otherwise it's just speculation.

2. " said industries need not compete and hire on credentials relevant to the job. This was often the case with union membership, as unions were and are predicated upon rationing relatively high paying jobs to a large pool." Unions are an inefficient, overregulated, noncompetitive industry? Since when? Union membership is voluntary. This sentence seems to refer to closed shop laws, not affirmative action. It may be what libertarians believe, but it has nothing to do with the article.

3. "In terms of policy, libertarians favor repealing all affirmative action legislation and regulation, so that the government has no official stance on the practice, leaving the decision to uphold and maintain such a policy up to the individual institutions." Who favors this? If it's the Libertarian Party, fine, just say so. Same if it is the CATO Institute. Further, there is the gaping logical hole that if the government has laws which require affirmative action in government hiring or contracting, then repealing the laws IS taking an official stance on the practice: it is abolishing it with respect to government hiring and contracting (although possibly not subcontracting).

4. "Some, however, may still take issue as taxpayers' money will support institutions that support or oppose affirmative action in the case of colleges and universities, meaning colleges, and not the government, should fund any costs of discrimination at their own expense. Libertarians generally disdain using taxpayers' money for programs that any citizen may oppose, like stem cell research. Instead, the optimal solution, according to them, lies in abolishing all federal aid to colleges and universities." Logically and grammatically nonsensical. Some of whom? Some Libertarians? They "may" take issue? Do they or not? More importantly, the author needs to refer to the source of the claim. And then the paragraph becomes a statement of Libertarian belief.

My preference would be to eliminate this passage entirely, or, failing that, replace it with "Some Libertarians argue that employment discrimination is only made possible by pervasive market failures. Under a regime of highly competitive labor and goods markets, companies would not be able to afford to hire on any basis other than merit. According to Libertarians, this would render affirmative action unnecessary." This paragraph is also unsubstantiated and logically flawed, but at least it has the advantage of being short.Hopkonian 18:31, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Hopkonian, I find your three-sentence summary markedly superior to the current rambling, weasel-worded slog. - Jmabel | Talk 01:12, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Split this article

Some of this article needs to be split into positive discrimination which should deal with positive discrimination in general around the world, and this article should deal with the specific American issues (mostly university enrollment) that it already mostly is about now. Zocky | picture popups 09:17, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

I concur that it is impossible to write a single coherent article covering positive discrimination and affirmative action, which evolved independently and have different meanings. They should be covered in separate articles with cross-links to each other via a See also section at the bottom, as was done with Cat's eye (road) and Raised pavement marker. --Coolcaesar 19:00, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

U.S. Constitution, etc.

Here is what I have erased:

The Constitution of the United States unambiguously and specifically prohibits Government discrimination against individuals based on their race or ethnicity. There are also numerous other laws that do this, however notwithstanding all this, it has still sometimes been asserted that certain court decisions have shown a "compelling interest" for government to discriminate against certain races or ethnicities, despite the clear Constitutional guarantees of equality for all.

I'll take this paragraph piece by piece, explaining what is objectionable with each part.

  • unambiguously and specifically prohibits Government discrimination
The problem with this is that the Constitution says no such thing; it merely guarantees the "equal protection of the laws," which may or may not have anything to do with a particular conception of what "discrimination" is. Therefore, the "unambiguous[] and specific[]" prohibition against state discrimination is neither unambiguous nor specific. The Equal Protection Clause, because of its "majestic generality," is not self-interpreting.
  • numerous other laws
What other laws? This is an encyclopedia. Cite your sources.
  • that do this
Do what? This is horribly unclear writing, I'm sorry to say.
  • notwithstanding all this
Again, all what? These are indefinite demonstratives.
  • sometimes been asserted
This is a paradigmatic example of weasel words.
  • for government to discriminate against certain races or ethnicities
What are you talking about here? Cite your sources; be specific. This isn't even a precept of encyclopedic writing, but of all good writing.
  • despite the clear Constitutional guarantees of equality
If the Equal Protection Clause is not one thing, it is clear. This, in part, is why there is so much controversy regarding its correct interpretation. Please see Equal Protection Clause for more on this controversy, and for a well-sourced featured article showing why the Clause is not clear. In summmary: let's avoid weasel words, be clear in our writing, and cite our sources. Thanks.

Hydriotaphia 03:21, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Deleting that was probably a good idea since the actual issue is adequately mentioned in the following section where it belongs (as you and I have already compromised to). Although I don't see all your argument of what is so unclear about guaranteeing all residents "equal protection of the laws", or how that could be much clearer English. I realize that true Equality is a hard concept to grasp for some people who see all things in terms of a pecking order or hierarchy, but I wouldn't think the legal concept would elude you. Taken literally, it means that differences like race etc. cannot legally come between two individuals with regard to either protection of the Law, or benefitting from rights. I am suspicious of any arguments that pretend not to understand the simpicity of this, as possibly trying to get around Equality and assert one or the other group as having superior rights or protection, and the others inferior. However, this is probably a moot point, as long as we are both (/all) happy with the status quo of the wording of that section. Now if you want to see a mess that desperately needs attention, check out the recently added section that I stuck a cleanup label on. It's horribly written for an encyclopedia, and even has pronouns like "you" and "us" (!); and it may not even be salvageable at all, but I'd like to see if anyone can maybe do anything with it. --ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 04:16, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

In the U.S., the Constitution means whatever the Supreme Court says it means. The Supreme Court has upheld certain forms of race-based Affirmative Action, due to compelling State interests. So, it is incorrect to say that the Constitution bans all Governmental racial discrimination. (Cj67 22:10, 31 May 2006 (UTC))
This should all be explained in full, for people like me who don't understand doublethink. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 22:56, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand how you could think that that is a remotely productive comment. Hydriotaphia 23:08, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Once again, the language of the 14th Amendment guarantees ALL residents EQUAL PROTECTION of the Law. A court says that this "really" means the exact opposite of what it says, and that some citizens can have actually more protection than others by virtue of their birth, whereas other citizens only deserve less protection, because they weren't born so lucky. (identical to feudalism) By interpreting the Constitution to mean the exact opposite of what it says, I would make the statement "This is doublethink". You aren't a court, but hopefully you are free to interpret whether that statement I just made really means what it says, or the exact opposite. What part don't you understand? ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 23:48, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
The issue—and it is an issue, and it bothers me a bit when people act as if they have the only possible legitimate perspective on the matter—is whether, and to what degree, "equal protection" allows government (or corporations, or universities: affirmative action is not only a government policy) to intervene to level a playing field that other forces, inside or outside of government, have apparently tilted. If an institution has a history of hiring only white men above a certain level, it is hard to fashion a color- and gender-blind solution to this existing color- and gender-based discrimination. If an university that has always been entirely (or almost entirely) white creates favorable admissions opportunities for offspring of alumni, they are creating a rule that implicitly creates a racial bias. Again, it is hard to fashion a color- and gender-blind remedy. I understand the absolutist position that says that the moment the government notices race it is a slippery slope, but on the other side is an equally slippery slope that leads to things like saying that a government cannot carry on studies to see whether (for example) police treat white and black citizens differently in otherwise similar circumstances: "race is none of the government's business" can become "identifying and confronting racist discrimination is none of the government's business" . - Jmabel | Talk 00:36, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
True, it may be "hard to fashion a color-blind and gender-blind remedy", but I still feel it could be done and should be strived for, and examples could be shown from various constitutions around the world that are strictly color-blind and gender-blind, and expressly let no such difference come between two citizens when applying for the same justice - but that explicitly protect all citizens equally, and hold all equally accountable for upholding order, etc.. It has been done, justice has been shown to take an honorable road on various occasions, whenever ability of courts to slant favoritism of the law for anything like racial reasons has been limited. Anyway, enough soapboxing, I am digressing. It is hard to say for certain what anyone was thinking in 1868 when the 14th Amendment was actually written. --ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 01:05, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
The very simple fact is that AA as it currently exists discriminates against the white poor. Any arguement for AA wrt the 14th Amendment based on building a color- and gender- blind society which fails to recognize that fact is morally suspect. You cannot encourage discrimination against a group of people based on their race and claim it is in the name of building a color- and gender- blind society. Rather, you can, but it is incredibly hypocritical.

Having said that, since this is an encyclopedia, the best reference for determining whether the 14th and AA are in conflict is the judicial branch. Their rulings have been very inconsistent. For example, Fullilove v Klutznick said it wasn't whereas Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education said it was. 11:46, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Too narrowly focused

The article focuses on race based AA and says little or nothing about other forms of AA such as sex-based, gender-based, disability-based, etc. forms. which exist and have been proposed. 11:18, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree. I think that what AA really seeks to do is redistribute wealth on some (arbitrary) basis. For example, redistribution on the basis of race is well documented in the article, but we don’t really talk about some broader (and arguably far more common examples of AA)- for example redistribution on the basis of socio-economic status or on some other relatively benign quality (such as height, or weight). Example of redistribution on the basis of socio-economic class are relatively common- take for instance progressive tax scales (such as in Australia), the dole (i.e. in the US known welfare payments, I think), Government funded rent assistance etc.

It appears to me that qualities such as socio-economic status are not different in kind to other qualities such as race (if such a thing exists), gender or hair colour. I’m not sure how we would differentiate these qualities, though it would be good to hear what other people think.

In short: surly AA is intrinsically connected to the idea of a welfare state- I’m not sure that the current article reflects this. 06:25, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

14th Amendment and reorg

First, let me say that I think Codex is right. The earlier version was unclear without that part referencing the 14th Amendment. Having said that, a complete reversion seemed like a step backwards when a slight edit was all that was needed. What I'm trying to do here is put all the debate pro and con in its own place in the article (like a "does X do Y?" Pro:Yadda yadda yadda, Con: Yadda, yadda, yadda). I want all the stuff that everyone agrees on (forex. the list of historical events which might be considered important to AA to be in its own space. If anyone thinks another structure for the article would be better, please share it. Just, don't step backwards when a small edit will suffice. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

What you say above is fair enough, but you have now restored your version where the paragraph beginning "Opponents of AA have challenged its constitutionality under this provision..." into the very bottom of the article. This makes absolutely no sense, it difficult to explain, since "this provision" now refers to absolutely nothing, and needs to be fixed ASAP, otherwise we will just have to go back to the last ordering that made sense. It almost seems like trying to hide or obscure the fact that there is any challenge to the constitutionality, when this is really one of the most crucial aspects, for not representing only one POV. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 00:36, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I made some edits on it. What I'm trying to do is put it in the Debate section (along with all pro- and con- statements). Do you agree that it belongs in the Debate section? It just so happens that the Debate section is in the bottom part of the article. Do you think the Debate section belongs somewhere else? If so, where exactly? 01:06, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
"Related to the US". I think, if we use your logic, most of the "Debate" section will have to be moved under "the United States" section. We'll also have to move the history section (since all its current items relate to the US) to put it under "the United States" section. All in all, if we use your logic, the article will end up with two major subparts; "the United States", and "Other Countries" (each of which will have its own history section and its own debate section). Since there have been very few contributions to the article relating to other countries (and, so, there is much less information in the article related to other countries), that section will be after the "United States" section. Anyway, I have no strong objections to doing that and can start on it later today, I think. 10:59, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
After looking more deeply into the idea of seperating the entire article into "US" vs. "Other Countries", I've discovered that many of the items listed in the disputes section are so applicable to all forms of AA in all countries, that such a fine distinction doesn't appear to me to be possible. At the same time, many of the disputes in that section are also highly US specific or use US examples. The end result is that it appears that the disputes section will have to be a seperate section applied to both of the other sections. This being the case, the "Opponents wrt the 14th Amendment" part (which is fundamentally a dispute) will need to be moved to that dispute section. Unless you see another way around it, I'm going to move that part back to that area. 15:41, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Bad idea. I'm thinking you're just being obtuse now. The 14th Amendment does not exist in any other country, this is specious reasoning being introduced solely for the sake of obscuring a valiad argument that is relevant only to the US case. So I will move it back where it rightly belongs. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 15:58, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with you, so you call me obtuse?? That's a little extreme. How about we work together? I asked you for advice on how to address this issue. You haven't given any alternative. How about doing that instead of bringing up "obtuse"? 17:01, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
It's like trying to fix something that is not broke. We don't need an alternative, because there is nothing wrong with mentioning the 14th Amendment under "United States". It makes no sense whatsoever to do as you envision, and your reasoning above made no sense whatsoever. You seem to be saying that even though the 14th Amendment is unique to the United States, it still needs to be relagated to the bottom of the article, rather than in the "United States" section, just because you can't figure out how to separate the other arguments by nation and you want to keep them all together. That is fallacious reasoning. Keep the 14th Amendment in the "United States" section where it belongs and don't try to use an argument that may apply to other areas and make it fit this one, because this is clearly a point that is relevant to the United States, and ONLY to the United States. How could it be any clearer? ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 17:14, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Explain to me why you are so fired up about that one sentence and, yet, completely mute on the following
  • If this argument is to be believed, AA promotes the idea that African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and other often underrepresented minorities do not emphasize education and high academic achievement as much as whites or Asians or "Model Minorites". This argument attacks the criticism that hip hop culture (gangsta rap culture in particular even though crime rates and economic conditions were better in the 1990s, the height of the rap movement, than during the 1980s during gang wars in California and general economic instability), anti-establishment mentality, high family instability, and excessive economic materialism or consumerism are among the cultural factors that have prevented blacks from achieving the same economic opportunity as whites.
  • Furthermore, many critics believe that those who make this argument are being naive, hypocritical, or vague in their quest to 'change the cultural values' of the black community
  • This is widely argued in the realm of education. An example of support for this is a study done by Patricia Gurin, who is part of the American Psychological Association. Gurin found that students who are from a more diverse educational setting had better results in tests designed to measure complex thinking, were more motivated to understand other people’s points of view, were more understanding of differences in cultural environments, and were more confident in their intellectual ability.
  • Proponents of Affirmative Action respond that such discrepancies that exist are a result of historic segregation. For example, many of the state and city universities had much lower tuition during the time they were primarily for whites, while tuition at such institutions have grown faster than the rate of inflation now that more minorities are attending. Tuition at the City College of New York was free up until the 1960s when the students were primarily Italian and Jewish, but now rival those of state universities now that most of the students are Black or Hispanic. In fact, however, this college's alumni produced a record (for public colleges) eight Nobel laureates, all minorities (Ashkenazi Jews.[20]). Further, a qualified minority with 90 average and a good SAT can qualify for honors college. Had Thurgood Marshall been admitted to Maryland, as a resident of Baltimore he would not have had to pay tuition. Howard, a private institution, had substantial tuition fees, but was at the time (the 1930s) the only ABA-accredited law program at a historically Black university.
  • Most proponents of AA believe that eradicating affirmative action would further deepen economic disparity between whites and underrepresented minorities.
  • Those who make this argument point to the fact that the government gives preferential treatment to veterans and that many organizations give preferential treatment to employees who have worked in the organization in the past. Furthermore, there is 'geographical affirmative action', in which people are more likely to be hired if their application has a local address written on it, rather than on 'merit'. Those who disagree with this argument point out that, with the exception of the government's preferential treatment of veterans, none of these are cases of affirmative action. Affirmative action involves legal regulation of private enterprises regarding hiring practices. There is no legal regulation for or against 'geographic affirmative action', for example. This argument further runs into the problem of resting on an implicit assumption that people are either connected to the "Old Boy's Network" or a racial minority. Where would one place the black CEO or the poor white coal miner living in West Virginia in that framework?
  • These critics believe this is contrary to claims of "social justice" made by supporters and makes AA policy in conflict with the 14th amendment. Their argument is a fundamental objection to the use of racial quotas and gender quotas in affirmative action, because such quotas are unable to address social injustice at the fine level of detail which is required. However, proponents of AA reply that quotas are only legal in the US when a judge issues an order for a specific institution to make restitution for past discrimination. There is intense dispute over whether the de jure illegality of quotas prevents de facto quotas in an environment where there is so much pressure to protect against the appearance of discrimination against protected groups. Much time has been spent attempting to show that these "goals" are not quotas. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).
So what is your point? It's another fallacy to suggest that because I say something about A, I am somehow obligated to say something about B. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 17:31, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
In other words, you aren't at all motivated to organize the article (which would involve putting all related points together - however one might define "related") or make it clearer. So, what exactly are you motivated by? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Everything that came after "in other words" is not at all a paraphrase of what I said, it's you putting words in my mouth - also known as the "strawman" fallacy. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 17:44, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

As far as "motivation" goes, I feel the 14th AMendment of the US Constitution is highly significant to the situation in the United States, and while some might not like the argument because it is not an easy one to answer, it is still highly significant and burying it in the middle of a paragraph on disputes near the bottom of the page is not giving it the prominence or attention that the US COnstitution deserves and almost seems disingenuous, like trying to cover up something you don't like or sweep it under the carpet. The factor of what the US Constitution says needs to be mentioned prominently under the "United STates" section, not shoved to the hardest to find location. I have now referred this matter to an RFC. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 18:36, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Do you honestly believe that the other disputes I mentioned are not significant? This is electronic media. If it were paper, you'd have a point that putting it at the top makes it easier to find. But since it is electronic media, you want it where people can hit the hyperlinks in the table of contents to find it. As a result, it needs to be in the Disputes section. If a person comes to the article and wants to read the disputes in the US, they are going to look in one place. Tearing the pieces apart and spreading them all over the article where they'll be harder to find are not going to serve your interests. 18:41, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
More fallacious reasoning. Things can be hard to find on a web page too. As you seem to know well. This is a prominent issue and needs to be given prominence. It's also more appropriate to USA, since it does not apply to other nations that have their own Constitutions. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 18:43, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
What do you think is fallacious? That this is electronic media or that people use hyperlinks to find stuff in electronic media? 19:09, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I wasn't referring to either of the propositions in that dichotomy, either. I was referring to your suggestion that, because this is electronic media, things can not be made hard to find. Issues about how much prominence things should be given on web pages are the order of the day. Again, the 14th Amendment and the US Constitution are of crucial importance to the United States section of this article, and do not deserve to be buried in an obscure paragraph near the bottom. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 19:19, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
"I was referring to your suggestion that, because this is electronic media, things can not be made hard to find." Interesting, considering that I never said that.

I said "Tearing the pieces apart and spreading them all over the article where they'll be harder to find are not going to serve your interests". "Harder to find" not "hard to find". The goal is to make information as easy to find as possible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Iinteresting, because you have now put the 14th AMendment discussion in a place that is definitely very hard to find, and I want it under "United States" where it belongs, and will be easier to find, in accordance with its prominence. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 19:39, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
To be more precise, I put it where it will be more easily found and where you don't think it will be - because, as far as I can tell, you still aren't grasping that this is electronic media and people use hyperlinks to find things. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Well, you put it in the wrong place. The 14th Amendment has nothing to do with any other country but the US, and therefore discussion of it will have to be returned to the US section, not deliberately buried in the most obscure location you can find. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 01:22, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree. It should be where it can be found and, fortunately, is. 01:35, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
No it isn't. Who are you kidding? It needs to go back to the US section where it belongs, ASAP. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 01:42, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Are you 12? This is getting ridiculous and I'm done debating it until some other people come in as a result of the RFC.

From Rfc

I've come via Rfc. Other than pointing out that this article is generally messy, I wanted to mention that putting the 14th Amendment stuff in any section but the US section is a bad idea. Also, burying something like that at the end of a long, rambling paragraph is a bad idea. So that's two bad ideas. Codex's arguments are really the only convincing ones here, a pretty easy call, actually. · j·e·r·s·y·k·o talk · 02:48, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

I too am from RFC. Seems to me that a US Constitutional Amendment does belong in the US section. In other issues-- I'm really astounding as how much work this article needs. I'd expect a Wikipedia article on this big a topic to be further along. Needs a good rewrite. --Alecmconroy 05:43, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Okay, guys, and what about the other parts of the Disputes section which relate to the US? My core gripe is that you really can't argue "this belongs in the US section because of Y" and, yet, say nothing about other parts which have the same characteristic. See the bulleted list above for what specifically I'm talking about

My feeling is that some of those other issues may well need to be included under the US section too, but we haven't even got to them yet. This is only the most prominent and most important aspect that I have identified. Again, I or anyone else cannot be faulted for "failure to act" on issue B, just as soon as we try to raise issue A. And I or anyone else are under no obligation to complete any list of additional tasks someone might try to assign us, as a pre-requisite for making a more urgent change. That's what I mean by faulty reasoning. And yes, I agree that this article is currently a hard-to-read mess in general, but a look at some past incarnations in the article's history shows that it wasn't always this disorganized, so there is some inspiration that the quality and readability could be raised higher still. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 15:28, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I said I'd wait for the RfC comments to be made and I will respect them. But I'm convinced that what you are going to see if you continue down the path of not organizing the article with clear dispute sections is the same mess that was in the article earlier where anyone who popped in to read the article would put their two cent issue with AA whereever they thought it belonged. The end result before, and the end result again, will be a horribly tangled article with many redundant areas - what led the AA article to be such a mess in the first place. 19:48, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion, the "Disputes" section could be eliminated entirely, or at least pared down considerably, after the information contained therein is incorporated into other appropriate sections. The stuff that is not country specific in that section could remain in the section, though the older title "Criticism" is probably a better title for the section. I second Alecmconroy's thoughts about a rewrite for this article. One way to start cleaning it up is to do what I suggested. · j·e·r·s·y·k·o talk · 21:55, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Honestly, I think it would be a mistake to get rid of the Disputes section. The Disputes section serves to keep the arguements out of the main section.23:08, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Its in the US section like you wanted. What's the problem now? 15:36, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

The way you have put it now really doesn't help matters at all, it actually defeats the purpose, your goal seems to be to de-emphasize the US Constitution in any way possible, as you have been continuously trying to do for some time by shifting the paragraph around, de-linking it, etc.. Given that this has become such a matter of contention now, you'd think that before making any sudden major changes to the placement of the Equal Protection clause, you might try to find consensus among the editors here on the talk page beforehand... ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 15:43, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
"it actually defeats the purpose, your goal seems to de-emphasize the US Constitution in any way possible"

My goal, as I've explained before, is to put the disputes in their own section. You seem to want to emphasize the disputes and that will change this article from an encyclopedia entry to a political debate. The other people who commented on the Rfc posted that they wanted this dispute in the US section and it remains there in my change. 16:03, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

How about if we put it in a seperate disputes section which is listed as the first subheading under the US section? That seems like the best compromise I can think of. It puts your 14th amendment issue at the top of the article, but puts it in its own disputes section. 16:08, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
That might work as a compromise -- if you are talking about simply creating a new header within the US section, just before it says "Equal Protection Clause"... You wouldn't even have to move anything... Note that the following sentence about not making an enumeration, logically follows the point about the Constitutionality, so it would also stay where it is, but be in the new section... ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 16:29, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

New Proposed Change

I'd like to discuss a seperate issue. How about moving AA issues related to other countries to a seperate article? That way each country will have its own history section, its own resuts section, etc. which I think makes more sense. 15:45, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
I think this might be a good idea, too... It's getting too messy trying to describe the US program along with everyone else's... So for my part, I will support this split, let this be an article specifically about the US and have another article for similar programs elsewhere... ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 16:36, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
I think that since the U.S. is getting so much attention (and so many copy inches) probably it should have an article of its own, probably at this title which is a U.S. term. The other article could have a section with a 2-paragraph digest of the U.S. article and a {{mainarticle}} link. - Jmabel | Talk 05:28, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Section 717 of the Civl Rights Act of 1964?

The History section of this article references section 717 of the civil rights act. But according to this source, section 717 doesn't exist (it ends at 716 before going to 801). What gives? PenguiN42 17:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Affirmative action is racist/sexist/etc

Racist is saying there are different races when we are the same race, aka the human race. Same with males and females, we are pretty much identical.

There are no differences so stop trying to make differences. If we do have benefits/grants it should be based on ability and need, not on what race or sex the person is.

Unless you are a Buddhist or other monistic philosopher, and deny the distinction betweeen humans and God, not to mention the distinction between both and California, pine trees, or the idea of pinkness, your statement that there are no differences is merely the recitation of an ideological litany like the myth of Mithras killing the bull, not intended to actually correspond to literal truth (unless there's also no difference between need and lack of need, ability and lack of ability). This is hardly the place to chant your prayers. 07:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

'Weird story. I had a friend whose dad applied for a job at the FBI back when he was younger. So he took the entrance test, got his score in the mail and read that he didn't make it. So, for whatever reason, he calls up to ask them something and the guy on the phone tells him, "Well, your score was good. You would've gotten the job is you were black".' I thought AA was meant to prevent this happening? It is positive discrimination aka discriminating against 'white' people.

Moved the US info

The accusation of a U.S. slant was valid. I made a new article, Affirmative Action in the United States. --Ellissound 05:31, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Psychohistorian moved some information about disputes to the new article, but I think most of them belong in the main entry. I'm bringing them back.--Ellissound 02:22, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
With all respect, look at the disputes section carefully. Every piece of evidence that it offers (Patricia Gurin's study, the statement, "for example, the federal government accepts applicants to jobs in the department of interior or department of agriculture on the basis of a numerical score based on a lengthy set of forms and questionaires they fill out", "the government gives preferential treatment to veterans", "black CEO", "poor white coal miner in West Virginia", "usually poor whites", "contrary to..the Fourteenth Amendment", "quotas are only legal in the US", the Mike S Adams study, "many of the state and local universities had much lower tuition", tuition at the City College in New York, the mention of Thurgood Marshall, the Libertarian view and the Centrist view, is talking about the US. This entire section is focusing on the US.Psychohistorian 11:40, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
You're right. But while the evidence and examples relate to the U.S., the reasoning itself (including the Libertarian and Centrist viewpoints) apply equally anywhere in the world. We have to rework this section to remove the U.S. slant. --Ellissound 06:03, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Illegal Immigration

Illegal immigration is not at all relevant to this topic, so please stop bringing it up. Besides, the comments not are being inserted are unverified and violate NPOV. Lagringa 22:41, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I would to reinterate that illegal immigration is irrelevant to this topic. It's like saying, in an article about global warming, "Illegal immigrants contribute to global warming too." I still maintain that the assertion about illegal immigrants benefitting from AA is largely false and that the wording, as well as the source of the assertion, is highly biased, but we don't even have to address that. Lagringa 09:15, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
First, let me say that I was the one who made the last two edits on this. I forgot to log in and edited from two different computers. I don't want you to think that people are ganging up on you. Now, having said that, the question of who receives AA is relevant to AA. I cannot comprehend how you could claim otherwise. Further, whether you "maintain that the assertion about illegal immigrants benefitting from AA is largely false" is entirely irrelevant. What you maintain is original research and to put it in the article is against one of the core policies of Wikipedia (the one called "no original research"). While I want you to feel welcome to contribute to building Wikipedia, I must insist that you abide by the policies on which Wikipedia is built else you aren't contributing to building Wikipedia, but something else entirely.-Psychohistorian 12:00, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Also, you have now broken the three revert rule and violations of that policy are taken pretty seriously on Wikipedia. Consider this a warning and a recommendation to revert your last revert before you are busted for that violation.-Psychohistorian 12:04, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Note to Bwileyr regarding word choice.. Is there some important distinction you are trying to make but haven't made clearly enough regarding your word choice for the above disputed section? You wrote, "Peter Kirsanow has written that Thomas Sowell, Roger Clegg, and Ed Blum have asserted that illegal immigrants who are members of preferred minority groups are entitled to other benefits unavailable to the vast majority of American citizens" and the heart of that is, "minority groups are entitled to other benefits unavailable to the vast majority of American citizens". That fits the definition of Affirmative Action. So, why not just say "Peter Kirsanow has written that Thomas Sowell, Roger Clegg, and Ed Blum have asserted that illegal immigrants who are members of preferred minority groups are entitled to Affirmative Action benefits"? -Psychohistorian 12:46, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

My rewrite was just an attempt to clarify the previously added material, but given that:

  • the given reference does not permit the assertion to be directly verified
  • the material lacks importance relative to the topic of this article

I agree that the material should removed. -->Wiley 18:19, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

As per Wiki policy, ""Verifiability" in this context does not mean that editors are expected to verify whether, for example, the contents of a New York Times article are true. In fact, editors are strongly discouraged from conducting this kind of research, because original research may not be published in Wikipedia. Articles should contain only material that has been published by reliable sources, regardless of whether individual editors view that material as true or false. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is thus verifiability, not truth." In other words, the fact that the given reference does not permit the assertion to be directly verified isn't relevant. As for the claim that the material lacks importance relative to the topic, as I wrote before, I fail to see how the issue of who receives affirmative action benefits isn't relevant to an article on affirmative action. If you can explain that, it would really help move the discussion along. -Psychohistorian 18:56, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
The given reference does not enable the assertion (what Thomas Sowell, Roger Clegg, and Ed Blum are claimed to have written) to be directly verified via a reliable published source. Nothing to do with the truth of the assertion, but everything to do with Wikipedia's verifiability requirement. Even if the material was verifiable, it (IMHO) lacks sufficient importance (relative to the topic of this article) to warrent inclusion.-->Wiley 19:51, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
The contested claim is, "Peter Kirsanow has written that Thomas Sowell, Roger Clegg, and Ed Blum have asserted that illegal immigrants who are members of preferred minority groups are entitled to other benefits unavailable to the vast majority of American citizens." That claim (that Peter Kirsanow states this) is 100% verifiable by the source.

As to your statement that your opinion is that it lacks sufficient importance, there is a policy which states that that isn't relevant either. I'll have to dig it up. -Psychohistorian 20:18, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

The reference (Peter Kirsanow) is not a reputable publisher as defined by the Wikipedia:Verifiability policy. Combined with the statement's relative unimportance to the topic of this article, the statement should be removed as per that policy.-->Wiley 20:42, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Quote me the specific part of the Wikipedia:Verifiability policy which you believe qualifies the website as not a reputable source.-Psychohistorian 21:02, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Looking at the guidelines for evaluating reliability, here are some items that apply:

  • "multiple independent confirmation" is not given
  • the referenced piece fails to "...cite the original source for an assertion..." "It is generally preferable to cite reliable sources..."
  • the website is one "whose audience is narrow in terms of its ideology, partisan agenda or point of view".

-->Wiley 04:38, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

These are guidelines, they aren't absolute. They do not rule whether an article is reliable or not. But, so I understand you correctly, you want "multiple independent sources" that Sowell and the others have stated that illegal immigrants get benefits that natives don't get as a result of their being members of a minority ethnicity/race? If you had that, you'd be okay with the statement? I looked throughout the NRO website and found nothing in it that identified is as being "narrow in terms of its ideology, partisan agenda, or point of view". I looked for an "about" page and didn't see one. Your claim in this regard seems to be more original research on your part. Policy allows one to cite third party references to statements as long as that third party source is identified. -Psychohistorian 11:52, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Further, the question you won't answer..the answer you could give which would at least move this discussion how it is your reason for believing that -who- receives AA isn't relevant to an article on AA. -Psychohistorian 21:19, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

The assertion can be summarized as follows: a difference in the immigration status of an AA applicate makes no difference as far as AA program benefits are concerned. What is your reason for believing that material about a difference that makes no difference relative to AA is worth including in the Wikipedia article about AA?-->Wiley 04:38, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Okay, so the assertion you seem to be making is "as -who- receives AA benefits has no bearing on what those benefits are, the issue of who receives AA benefits isn't applicable to an article on AA." There are two problems with that that I'll address, but I first want to make sure that that is your assertion. -Psychohistorian 14:01, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Some time has passed, and you have yet to defend your position that illegal immigration is relevant to AA. The burden is on you to explain the relevance, since it is impossible in this case to prove a negative. Once again, immigration status has no bearing on one's treatment under AA. It's akin to saying that "people whose name begin with the letter 'p'" may receive benefits under AA. Lagringa 22:56, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
WHAT?? "The burden in on you to explain the relevance". I already have and noone has responded. If you need another reason, it is in the justification for AA programs. They are to act as a remedy for discrimination. There is no legal justification for such a remedy in the case of illegal aliens. As a result, applying it to illegal aliens is illegal. That means that applying it to illegals is far more significant than applying it to citizens whose name starts with "p" (given as one is justified by the Constitution and the other is illegal). -Psychohistorian 01:25, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Sowell has never made a claim like this. Unless you can find a quote of his saying anything like this, feel free to put his name back. Until then, I'll delete it.Minidoxigirli 15:02, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

It is not up to you to verify the truth of a claim (that would be original research). It is only up to you to verify claims. The claim made here is that Peter Kirsanow says that Sowell has made such a statement. That claim is 100% verified by the reference given. You are against policy to delete it. -Psychohistorian 16:07, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Quoting from Wikipedia:Reliable_sources: The burden of evidence lies with the editor who has made the edit in question, and any unsourced material may be removed by any editor. -Wiley 16:43, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Why is it important and relevant to the topic that some guy claimed another guy made a statement about illegal immigration? The fact that the claim cannot be independently verified certainly puts the reliability of your source in doubt. Lagringa 22:56, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
The claim is verified. Are you seriously arguing that Kirsanow doesn't say this? -Psychohistorian 01:15, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Even if the editor who added the material had been able to achieve consensus with the other editors that the material was published by a reliable source, the editor who added the material would still have the burden of achieving consensus with the other editors that the material is sufficiently relevant to the topic of the article to be retained. --Wiley 16:43, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Okay, having thought about it a bit more, I'm okay with moving that part to the Affirmative action in the United States article. I want the stub in *this* article to be kept short so that we don't have two seperate growing pieces of related content in two seperate articles. I like neither redundancy nor two seperate parallel articles (or parts of articles) growing independently. I'll move that content now. -Psychohistorian 17:10, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

So the conversation continues at Talk:Affirmative action in the United States/Archives/2012#Illegal Immigration: Change of venue. - Jmabel | Talk 04:38, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

OhnoitsJimmy's last edit

He didn't make any comment as to why he deleted what he did and, so, I wanted to clarify in case others want to put that content back in. The problem is that it is not verified. You need to reference a reliable source who states that.-Psychohistorian 16:32, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

My recent deletion of content

"Though affirmative action in the United States is primarily associated with race and gender, the American civil rights movement originally gave as its purpose the correction of a history of oppression against all working-class and low-income people; women have figured as prominently as ethnic minorities among its beneficiaries.[citation needed]

An experiment yeilded results saying that eliminating affirmative action in large elite colleges would decrease the acceptance of under-represented minorities by as much as a half to two thirds. This change would minimally effect the acceptance of white applicants, but it would raise the acceptance of Asian-Americans by one-third [7]."

has been removed from this article as the issue is thoroughly explored in Affirmative action in the United States and to address it in this article would require such a preponderance of US specific content that this article's focus would shift from being AA on a global scale to being AA on the US scale with a little bit of global stuff thrown in. -Psychohistorian 11:15, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Criticism Section

Could someone add that, i'd like to read what the arguments against it are —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 15 October 2006.

I'll see if I can get something up :) Russia Moore 02:01, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
There's plenty about that in Affirmative action in the United States. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 01:37, 21 October 2006 (UTC)


Affirmative Action is indeed racism, it takes groups of races over others, they need to be seen in the same light as the KKK. I'm an Italian, yet I see this term "latino", what is this? South Americans? LOL That is a direct insult to my Roman ancestry! And remember, without Rome, there would be no Spain, that means that the south americans would've never been colonized. I still see no case on how they're "latino", they are south americans, or do we advocate political correctionism? How about we tell it the way it is for once? They are south Americans, furthermore they are mexicans (not considered s. america), argentinians, brazilians, etc etc There is nothing "latin" about them, their ancient language was destroyed by Spain, they were forced to learn spanish, so how does that somehow make them "latinos"?

This reminds me of "african americans" LOL This is crazy! I never saw any "Mr. Johnson" in Africa, they don't even have any cultural relations with Africans, they are as much black as white people are white in America, they are both American, isn't that enough? Why must politicians divide the people for political gain? Why must special interest activist groups divide the people to keep in business? Yes! If we realized that Affirmative Action is nothing but a racist organization that assigns stupid point systems BASED on race, then we will see that we don't need them, they are trash in America that needs to be tossed in the dumpster!

I don't hate south americans or black americans, I only have a bone to pick with these so-called "civil rights activists" that just sit around allday reading the newspapers to keep in business, to exploit America just because they are finding that they are useless here in the 21st century, they do nothing but feed the fire for the KKK and other racist organizations. What is wrong with just being American? YOU divide America! If you didn't, you would be out of business, so you HAVE to divide America! Once we get rid of this, after we reform the US Census bureau, then we might actually begin to have some unification in here, instead of this constant bickering from the old 20th century movements so that they can continue to make money! LOL Anyway, I am not just here to rant, I think there should be a "Critics" section that tells people that people like me consider it to be Racism! Look, I don't have a problem if it stays as an economic based organization, but RACE? Oh, c'mon! Give some point systems to people based on economics, not based on their color, I am so sick of this organization, I cannot stand racism like this, keeps us from a finally unified nation! ugh Crud3w4re 08:00, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Thank you Crud3w4re 03:34, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

"they do nothing but feed the fire for the KKK and other racist organizations." So how did these Blacks feed the fire for the KKK in the 19th century? If you know anything about United States history you would know that the KKK was also anti-Catholic and Italian. Also if you are so into everyone being just an american, why do you call yourself an "Itlaian"! If I remember correctly poor Itlaians went to America in the 19th century looking for affirmative action.--Margrave1206 (talk) 19:43, 22 January 2008 (UTC)


"Affirmative action (U.S. English), or Positive Discrimination"

"Positive Discrimination"? How can discrimination be positive? I think this needs to go. Crud3w4re 07:15, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

  • It can be positive when it works to the betterment of society. "Discrimination" became shorthand for "racial discrimination", which was still prettied up language for "bigotry" and "oppression". There's a huge difference between the discrimination that consists of putting your boot on someone's head (i.e., Jim Crow or apartheid) and the discrimination that consists of giving a hand to someone whom you'd previously been crushing (i.e., affirmative action). --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 15:08, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

That's a POV, that is not fact. Head I've been crushing? I think it's a POV statement that discrimination is ok, as long as it's used by a so-called "minority" group. I think that's a wrong statement to portray, this article needs a NPOV stance. Crud3w4re 19:39, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

  • If you're capable of providing one, please do. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 01:24, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
The article has been vandalized extremely heavily over the past year since I last looked at it. It used to have an explanation of the difference between positive and negative in law which I had drafted.
In law, the term positive refers to an explicit command to perform an act (thou shall) while negative refers to a command to not perform an act (thou shalt not). Thus, positive discrimination means one shall select in favor of particular groups, in contrast to discrimination in the traditional sense which is negative (that is, selection against particular groups).
This is a very basic distinction taught in civics courses in high school---it's kind of hard to get through humanities or social sciences courses in college without understanding it.--Coolcaesar 10:33, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

* "Positive Discrimination"? How can discrimination be positive? I think this needs to go. Crud3w4re 07:15, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

The term Positive Discrimination is the one used in the UK where Affirmative Action is largely unkown which is why it is included here. Your point that discrimination cannot be positive is a good one, which is why this practice is unlawful in UK law. --Brideshead 10:58, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

This needs correcting, Positive Discrimination is permitted by EU Directives 2000/43 and 2000/78 and is actively enforced as part of the Police Service of Northern Ireland Recruitment initiavtes. Rather than adding your perceived thoughts on whether discrimination can be positve or not it would be better to clarify the legal position first. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:35, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

The article requires a clean-up

According to the note at the top of the page, the article requires a clean-up. I have added some sections on the legal issues around AA, and also around the controversy. I have added some references which I hope will help. I have also taken stuff from a different article minority groups and put it here, to reduce duplication. Of course minority groups references this article now so that people know where to go to get more info. Spinach charm 11:36, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

The United Kingdom

isn't a country. Kevin Doran 14:41, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

But is a state. - Jmabel | Talk 07:38, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

What do you mean it isn't a country? The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; full and official title. --Brideshead 22:40, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

It is certainly a kingdom, and a state. Country is a trickier word. Certainly it is not a single nation. Country is a bit tricky, between nation and state in connotation. Sorry for being so terse first time out. But, in any case, the distinction is not relevant to the use in this article; there is no problem with the article in this respect. - Jmabel | Talk 06:34, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Sexual Orientation?

I deleted 'sexual orientation' again, because there was no valid reference given. The reference that was given was to a Bill Clinton-era executive order, banning federal discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Banning discrimination is not the same thing as Affirmative Action, which extends concrete benefits to certain classes of people and not others. In fact, the only place where affirmative action is mentioned in that Executive Order, is in section 3-302 which clearly states that the Order "does not apply" to affirmative action. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 22:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

The stated goal of AA is to ban discrimination. So, it makes no sense to argue that a policy isn't about AA because it bans discrimination.-Psychohistorian 01:14, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

What makes no sense, is to use as your "source", a legal document that explicitly states that it does NOT apply to Affirmative action. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 02:48, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I am looking for other sources. There are better sources at the state level.-Psychohistorian 13:05, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Affirmative Action is an umbrella term - this article is too specific

Affirmative Action is an umbrella term that refers to a set of policies, programs, laws and guidelines that attempt to address the current and historical effects of institutional racism. There are literally hundreds of different programs, laws, and policies that fall under this category. However, for some reason when the media talk about Affirmative Action they are usually referring to the concept of preferential treatment in admissions, hiring, etc. It would be great if this article actually focused on Affirmative Action as a whole instead of focusing on the most controversial concept that falls under the umbrella term. Many people are probably unaware that 90% of the programs, policies, laws that fall under the category of Affirmative Action are fairly uncontroversial. 18:27, 22 December 2006 (UTC) Shane Wealti

If you could source some of these other forms of AA, source that they are forms of AA, and source that they aren't controversial, it would help us get started on this.-Psychohistorian 18:45, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
This article is a good starting point: [8] 19:16, 22 December 2006 (UTC) Shane Wealti
I've done just a quick survey of that article so far, but there's a lot of manure in it (like how they source the claim that women don't need AA for university admission, but apparently want us to just take it on faith that they are telling us the truth when they say that minorities do), its going to take some time to peice through it to find the diamonds.-Psychohistorian 20:47, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Here's what I think is a good example. Fines can be imposed on banks that participate in redlining. The law that allows the imposition of such fines would fall under Affirmative Action because it addresses institutional racism by taking a punitive action against the discriminating entity. 19:19, 22 December 2006 (UTC) Shane Wealti


"A recent ruling in Michigan against some forms of affirmative action has required some colleges to set new admissions criteria." Recent as of when? And what ruling? Are we talking about Gratz v. Bollinger, et, al., Grutter v. Bollinger et. al., Regents of the University of Michigan v. Ewing? I believe that all of these were Supreme Court cases, so in any event they weren't ultimately "in Michigan". If someone can clarify, great. Otherwise this vague sentence should go. - Jmabel | Talk 07:05, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Say how case was decided

cases which were decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 23, 2003.

Well, say how they were decided: who won, who lost?! Jidanni 11:42, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Vague, removed

"Bosnia-Herzegovina. Women must represent at least 29% of all politicians." Obviously, you cannot control the percentage of politicians. There may be some kind of rule about officeholders; if so, I could not quickly find a citation. Since, according to [9] (dated 14 November 2005), less than 20% of Bosnia-Herzegovina's parliamentarians, I suspect that there was simply no truth to this at all. - Jmabel | Talk 07:10, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

affirmative action could change this. for instance, increase enrollment of women in politics classes and law school, give women who run for office extra votes (a vote for a woman counts 2x that for a man), put term-limits on men, only let men hire female assistants and advisors, pay female politicians higher salaries, for some small races just declare that only women can run, or just appoint women to be in charge of certain areas. affirmative action can solve this problem easily! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:58, 14 March 2007 (UTC).

Affirmative action help blacks to steal jobs from qualified whites and give them to less than qualified blacks-only to help the employer meet a quota of minority employees. While this "quota" remains underpublicized, it does exist both in universities and the work place.

Repeat reversions to NPOV-violating language

An anonymous editor has created new language which 1) asserts that in the U.S. AA only helps African-Americans; and 2) says that certain castes in India compete in becoming more "backwards" so as to get more benefit from reservation. It has been removed by two different editors, and he/she has reverted to it four times now. Could somebody watch this besides me and the other editor, each of whom have removed the offending language twice? --Orange Mike 20:35, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Positive liberty

I never really understood how affirmative action could be considered constitutional (in the US) until I read the Positive liberty page. It seems like the major philosophical disagreement about affirmative action stems from a disagreement about whether our civil liberties ought to be positive or negative. So I added it to the See also links. Awesomebillfromdawsonville 05:54, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

First Paragraph

Get rid of it. Completely biased and not an accurate description of Affirmative Action. May I humbly suggest something along the lines of, "Approves the right for race to be a factor in admission to college, acceptance to jobs," etc. 05:54, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

If you're serious, and not just blowing steam, you would need to write a more serious and encyclopedic paragraph than that. The present one seems pretty balanced to me. --Orange Mike 14:00, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Arguments For/Against just not...Encyclopedic

Quotes of what supporters might possibly say? That's just unprofessional and leads to disputes of neutrality. It isn't written in an encyclopedic error and needs SERIOUS revisions. --Mystalic 13:26, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Where are the statistics, constitutional questions, and Supreme Court Cases?

< I am confused that there are no statistics given here. I think there should be so that people can get a more concrete idea of how much of a benefit is granted based on affirmative action. Statistics about the performance and disadvantage of different groups might also be helpful. However, I would caution that it is important to get a variety of statistics from a variety of different sources. (Please reference reputable sources and refrain from putting in studies performed by organizations with a particular stance on the issue. Please don't reference studies performed by PACs or political parties, but also remember that university studies by universities with a public stance on the issue can be biased too. I think our best bet would be studies and surveys by news organizations.)I also don't understand why there isn't more discussion of the legal controversy of affirmative action and the Supreme Court cases relating to it. Remember, this is not just a political issue; it is a legal issue and the constitutional questions relating to affirmative action ought to be covered much more thoroughly here.

< As someone who has read this article in the past when there was much more information in it, I believe that the article has declined tremendously because people have cut from it recklessly and, dare I say, deliberately in order to hide information that did not conform to their point of view. I think it's gone to the extent that you might even call it sabotage. (Although, since these sabotage efforts were disorganized, I'm not even sure that the article advocates a particular view as much as it confuses and fails to inform the reader.) If you're going to take stuff out, please try to find something to replace it with regarding the same topic/issue. I will say that the recent additions to the article have improved in the sense that it now more clearly addresses the counterarguments to affirmative action. What is required now is a better explanation of the history of affirmative action and its statistical/legal justifications. With regards to statistics, studies should be cited which both support or refute affirmative action. If all these things are done, this article will not only be fair but also comprehensive.> Creativityrocks 04:43, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Creativityrocks sorry to intrude on your post but here's plenty of information to support Affirmative Action and there's no need for Supreme Court Decisions, Constitutional questions or Statistics to study it would be just a waste of time because the numbers won't change anything, when you have Present conditions and History anyone can use common sense to realize things are not Equal and never have been in this country, 13% of your current populations ancestors built most of the foundations of this country for free and where denied common freedoms that you have, that most people take for granted.

Past History when you click the link below go to the section that's in black print about half way down the page it's titled "A Long History of Affirmative Action - For Whites" which is written by someone that's white study


Here's a short list of Contributions from Blacks notice the dates are mostly post Civil War and if you think of the Blacks that lived and died before the war, how many of them would have been able to Patent things from the start of the country? [11]

Gibo30 20:49, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Bias (did I miss something?) - "The validity of this statement..."

Ummm...ahem? The section I quoted appears to be a statement of opinions regarding affirmative action, for and against. But: every single "controversial" opinion has "questionable validity", whereas every justification is tacitly purported to be true by the absence of the "questionable validity" clause.

I would suggest that these statements ("The validity of this statement is under question.") are done away with or applied to both justification and controversy.

In my opinion, this is blatant bias.

Justifications The justification for affirmative action is that a simple adoption of meritocratic principles along the lines of race-blindness or gender-blindness—or simply relying on elites to behave fairly—will not suffice to change the situation for several reasons.

  • Discrimination practices of the past preclude the acquisition of "merit" by limiting access to educational opportunities and job experiences.[1]
  • Ostensible measures of "merit" may well be biased toward the same groups who are already empowered.[2]
  • Regardless of overt principles, people already in positions of power are likely to hire people they already know or people from similar backgrounds, or both.[3]


Proponents of affirmative action generally advocate it either as a means to address past discrimination or to enhance racial, ethnic, gender, or other diversity.[4] They may argue that the end result—a more diversified student body, police force or other group—justifies the means.

In the United States, opponents see the following problems with affirmative action, among others:

  • Affirmative action can be reconciled with neither the spirit nor the letter of the Constitution. (The validity of this statement is under question.) [citation needed]
  • It is inherently incompatible with, and even antithetical to, the American democratic form of government and the free enterprise economic system (The validity of this statement is under question.)[citation needed]
  • Groups favored by affirmative action will become dependent on its benefits. (The validity of this statement is under question) [citation needed]

-charlie 22:38, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

re-organise and rename?

This article could do with some more citations (as per Charlie's comment above).

I think it would be a good idea to re-organise the section on 'implementation worldwide' to geographical areas ie. Europe, Asia, Africa - seems a bit more logical than the A-Z listing at the moment. Thoughts?

In the UK, Affirmative Action is not a term particularly commonly used - its usually positive or reverse discrimination. Does anyone know what the terms most commonly used in the rest of the world are? It may be more appropriate to rename this article Positive Discrimination or Reverse Discrimination with some big references to Affirmative Action at the top of the page if AA is not so commonly used?

Also, could anyone Archive some of the older bits on this talk page it's awfully long and most of it is irrelevant now because it's not about the US anymore.. I would but i don't know how - bit nervous about doing it first time.

Ta Gazzelle 12:10, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

The redirect from positive discrimination should be deleted and that article should be developed into an article on positive discrimination as it has developed elsewhere. As the edit wars over this article have illustrated, there are too many subtle differences between positive discrimination and affirmative action to consolidate them into a single coherent article. The more sophisticated approach would be to have two separate articles with extensive cross-linking; see Raised pavement marker and Cat's eye (road) for an example.
Also, affirmative action is the common term in the United States. The vast majority of ordinary Americans do not know or recognize the term positive discrimination, and would give you a funny look if you were to ask them what they thought of it. Only intellectuals like myself who commonly read foreign newspapers/periodicals or have visited Europe are familiar with the term. --Coolcaesar 17:53, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

against socio-politically dominant group ?

In the header I want to change against 'against socio-politically' to 'against socio-economically' dominant group. In a lot of cases (chinese) Malaysia, (forward castes) India the groups that aren't included in affirmative action policies are economically dominant (wealthier than average) but not politically (as they are a minority with little political power).

Consequences of a "veiling" effect?

Looking around online I haven't found anything substantial on this subject and thought this page might be a good place to ask. Has anyone familiar with this topic come across research on a possible "false reporting" effect that could arise under affirmative action programs? In other words, representation in targeted areas (professional fields, university admissions, etc.) doesn't reflect the actual opportunity available to the "beneficiaries" of AA programs in those areas because of an affirmatively modified outcome. This appearance of equality at the top then strips the impetus from efforts to correct inequality at the bottom (early education, home situations, etc.) Has anyone come across anything similar to this and, if so, does it merit a place within the article? (trying to sign this, cross fingers) 22:24, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

AA as confirmation of prejudices

I think that far more problematic and easily overlooked than the envy AA causes is that it may confirm prejudices by implying that the affirmed minorities are naturally inferior (e.g. computer science courses for female pupils -> women are inherently worse at computer science).

Obviously such reasoning is invalid, but a fallacy that is common enough can still be problematic despite being a fallacy (and humans are known to ignore the lack of validity of any reasoning fitting their views, more often than not).

I don't know whether this train of thought is academically documented, but it should be pretty easy to come across.

I guess the proposed solution would be to try and change the frame of mind resulting in the prejudices rather than, or in addition to, taking affirmative action. Also AA should be less intrusive/disruptive in order to prevent a feeling of injustice in the dominant group (whatever such AA would then look like I don't know). -- 07:29, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism of Canadian Section

The Canadian section reads "The Canadian Employment Equity Act requires employers in federally-regulated industries to give preferential treatment to four designated groups: Women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, and visible minorities." I tried to compress it to "The Canadian Employment Equity Act requires employers in federally-regulated industries to discriminate against able-bodied white men" and was accused of vandalism. Why is that? Both sentences carry precisely the same meaning, but the second one is shorter and eliminates a redundant link; the Wikipedia article on Employment Equity is actually the one called Affirmative Action. Also, this article should mention that in November of 2005 the federal Public Works department was forced by public outrage to rescind a similar policy. See [12] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vgy7ujm (talkcontribs) 07:32, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

  • Hi. Though I may have been incorrect in tagging your edit as "vandalism," your edit did not, in my opinion, "carry precisely the same meaning" as the original text. The original text cites four groups of people that are mentioned in the Canadian Employment Equity Act. The phrase "able-bodied white men" is not included in the document. An excerpt from the document reads:

    The purpose of this Act is ... to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by women, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities

In reading the Canadian Employment Equity Act it appears that the phrase "to give preferential treatment" currently in the article may need to be changed. DAMurphy 16:11, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Maybe the comment should be changed so it sounds less like an attack against the feds for helping everyone but the white man get a job but so it still tells it like it is? --GreenEarthPFC (talk) 17:44, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Errors in Swedish Section

It's said that it's illegal to use affirmative action in sweden - I want to alert you that this is incorrect. I'll be reading on affirmative action in Sweden very soon (this weekend at most) and I'll update it, in the meantime I suggest that section to be deleted... Wrong knowlege is worse than no knowlege. KhaaL 11:44, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Removal of Reverse Discrimination

I believe the addition of Reverse Discrimination was added facetiously or perhaps mockingly see changes, however, even if it was done with only good intentions there could be dozens of alternate names for Affirmative Action and there is no need to add this one. DAMurphy 06:46, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect conclusion

I have removed the following; "However, researchers with access to closely guarded college admissions data have found that, on the whole, about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America's highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions' minimum admissions standards. Contrary to popular belief, it was not the black and Hispanic beneficiaries of affirmative action, but the rich white kids with cash and connections who elbowed most of the worthier applicants aside."

I read the source and the conclusion drawn is faulty. While the article does state that 15 percent of freshmen are whites who do not meet the admission standards it does not say how many blacks admitted do not meet those standards. I am quite certain that George Bush's children would have an easier time getting in to Harvard than a disadvantaged urban youth, but I am also certain that Alan Key's children would too. Many students are admitted to schools where they dont meet the admission guidelines (there are no such things as admission requirements) but without the rest of the data we cannot know if this is racial or economic in motivation, or perhaps motivated by some other factor.

Additionally the phrase "rich white kids with cash" does not belong anywhere in an encylopedia article regardless of the phrasing of the original source" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:10, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Misplaced comments

Howdy, I removed some comments from the article which I believe were intended to go here. I didn't look over them and don't have any view on their validity or accuracy; just a simple move. Cheers, --TeaDrinker 17:59, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Affirmative Action in the UK

AFAIK affirmative action is lawful in the case of disabled people under the Disability Rights Act, where organisations are required to meet the needs of any disabled service users or employees even if it advantages them over a non-disabled person. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ms medusa (talkcontribs) 16:44, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Needs serious editing!

Hi, this is actually the first time I've written anything on Wikipedia, but this is so overtly, seriously racist (in the controvery section) so I hope someone will remove ASAP.

..."can prevent the social and economic issues from Niggers reaching a stage where they become impossible (or greatly more difficult) to repair.

WTF How is this actually still on here? I'm pretty disturbed!

I only have a minute so I don't have time to edit, but needed to point out. Also, the organization of the topic is sort of misleading/not neutral-- much more info on here about the controversial but with no balance of positive examples of affirmative action.

--A — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:46, 28 February 2008

That was just vandalism by an anonymous editor, which I have removed. It is worrisome how long it stayed up on the page (about 14 hours), but it was a fairly minor edit (in terms of characters changed, etc.) and easy to miss. Your concerns about the article content are valid and I think they've been debated a lot in the past. Thanks for bringing this up, though. --clpo13(talk) 09:05, 28 February 2008 (UTC)


This introduction seems to be inconsistent. It needs to state whether the term "affirmative action" means the same as "positive discrimination", a policy of giving preferential treatment to certain disadvantaged or minority groups, or whether it refers more broadly to far less controversial efforts to encourage "public institutions such as universities, hospitals and police forces to be more representative of the population" using methods such as recruitment programmes. Affirmative action isn't equivalent to positive discrimination if it has the second meaning. --Lo2u (TC) 20:28, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

The actual term positive discrimination is used for this concept. TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 23:14, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
I've taken the synonym "positive discrimination" out of the introduction and added a link to "reverse discrimination". The page fails to differentiate between "affirmative action", "positive discrimination" and "reverse discrimination". The first is essentially an American political movement, which is what this page should be discussing. The second is a policy of giving preferential treatment to certain groups, which is what the article on reverse discrimination discusses. The last is the American word for positive discrimination. At the moment the page is mess, discussing both ideas as they are the same thing. --Lo2u (TC) 23:16, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Positive discrimination is the practice of discriminating in favour of one group. I am aware of no wider meaning. --Lo2u (TC) 23:18, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
You are incorrect- Reverse Discrimination in the US is claim that 'whites' are being denied access because of programs that 'benefit' 'people of color' (or men are being denied because of special programs for women) - it is a completely different view than the non-US use of 'positive discrimination' (a term that is not used in the US)TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 00:51, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
As a non-US user of the term "positive discrimination", my understanding of the term is more-or-less the same as your (admittedly rather narrow) definition of "reverse discrimination". The idea that the term can be used to describe policies designed "promote access" isn't one I've heard before.--Lo2u (TC) 01:59, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Your definition reverse discrimination was too narrow. I have now corrected that page. Also added some of the citations that were requested.--Lo2u (TC) 16:52, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
    • ^ Richard Delgado, "Merit and Affirmative Action", excerpted from The Coming Race War? And Other Apocalyptic Tales of America after Affirmative Action and Welfare, NYU Press, 1996. <>: "formalist devices… enable the powerful to exclude from consideration past actions… that have effects even today which prevent some from entering the competition on equal terms."
    • ^ Susan Sturm and Lani Guinier, "The future of affirmative action: Reclaiming the innovative ideal" originally published in the California Law Review, July 1996, online as part of the Racetalks Initiatives on Guinier's site at Harvard University. <>
    • ^ Lani Guinier, "Saving Affirmative Action; and a process for elites to choose elites", Village Voice, July 2-July 8 2003. <,guinier,45235,1.html>: "The worry is that as long as colleges and universities obscure the criteria on which they admit students, the elite are free to choose themselves and then legitimate those choices with a critical mass of people of color."
    • ^ Richardson, L. Anita. "What is the Constitutional Status of Affirmative Action?: Reading Tea Leaves." Affirmative Action: a Dialogue on Race, Gender, Equality and Law in America XIII.2 (1998). 16 November 2006 <